Nairametrics| Indications emerged yesterday that the Federal Government (FG) could ban the importation of certain minerals it considers high priority. These minerals are limestone, barites, iron, bitumen, lead and zinc. The ban, if implemented, would help stimulate the local mining industry.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, gave this indication during a stakeholders meeting held in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State with the Association of Miners Processors of Barit Tse Torkula Community.
In addition to the ban, Fayemi said that the FG has concluded plans to grant miners in the country a tax holiday, as well as offering them duty free importation on all mining equipment. “As a country, we have the best tax holidays worldwide, all miners have three years tax holidays from the government. Again, out of the 40 minerals in the country, we have selected seven strategic ones for concentration. The minerals are limestone, barites, iron, bitumen lead and zinc” Premium Times quotes the Minister as saying.
As an example, Fayemi identified barites, a mineral used as a weighting agent in drilling muds by oil companies. He noted that the country had enough barite for use by oil companies in the country; hence there was no need for importation of the mineral. He however agreed that there was still much work to be done in terms of funding and creating an enabling environment for mining in the country.