The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to clamp down on tax evaders and revenue leakages in the mining sector as it introduced new Mineral Export Guidelines.
On the lingering challenges burdening the mining sector, stakeholders during the 2019 Nigeria Mining Week shared their concerns as the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, accused some mining companies operating in the country of under-remitting taxes to the Federal Government.
“There would be no room for royalty payment evasion. All mineral exports shall be inspected by government-appointed independent pre-shipment inspection agents, who are empowered by law to render quantity and quality control services and monitor pricing. This control mechanism is in accordance with the Pre-shipment Inspection of Exports Act,” he said.
According to Adegbite, the Federal Government was planning to partner with stakeholders in the industry in order to deepen the reforms and foster a conducive ecosystem for private sector participation and growth.
He added that a strong network was being built in order to enhance the nation’s competitiveness as a world-class mineral exploration destination that foreign investors would find attractive.
Adegbite disclosed that Nigeria had only been able to attract 0.12 % out of the 5% share of exploration investment flowing into the West African region.
Although mining has a significant role to play in the economy, the sector is still classified as non-performing despite the host of many mineral resources embedded within the states in Nigeria.
Also commenting on the mining sector was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Pedro Omontuemhen, who lauded the government’s efforts at reviving the sector. He, however, said that in some African countries the contribution of mining to the GDP hovers around 15-25% but Nigeria’s contribution is less than 1%, adding the sector was critical to Nigeria leading as much as 100 million people out of poverty.
Nigeria to begin gold production in 2021 with the Segilola Gold Project
The gold produced is expected to become a part of Nigeria’s external reserve.
Nigeria is set to commence gold production in 2021 after the launch of the Segilola Gold Project in Osun state. This was disclosed by the Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, while taking stock of his first year in office as Minister.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Ayodeji Adeyemi, Adegbite said that the project is expected to create about direct 400 direct jobs and 1000 indirect jobs along the gold value chain.
He added that once the project takes off, Nigeria would become a major gold producing country, a move that would hasten the diversification of the economy and reduce unemployment among the youth populace.
He noted that the government was creating an enabling environment across the gold value chain. According to him, “the international roadshows we have had in the past have borne fruits. Today we have Thor exploration in Osun State through the Segilola Gold project, which is projected to start producing in the first half of next year.”
The minister also noted that the government has licenced two gold refineries to refine gold to the London Bullion Market Association, LBMA, standard.
About the Ajaokuta Steel Plant, Adegbite explained that the global travel restriction caused by the pandemic had prevented the technical experts from Russia from coming over to the plant to conduct an audit of the steel plant. He assured that this would be done as soon as the flight restriction was over, and there are hopes to revive the plant before the expiration of President Buhari’s tenure.
Why it matters
The take-off of gold production in Nigeria is expected to open up an industry centred around gold production, from equipment leasing and repairs, logistic and transport. Note that gold requires a specialized means of transport, security, insurance, aggregators among others. These, according to Adegbite, would ultimately create tens of thousands of jobs across the gold value chain.
The minister further stated that Nigeria has mined, processed, and refined gold under the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative, PAGMI. The first batch of PAGMI gold was unveiled at a presentation ceremony to President Buhari on July 16, 2020.
The gold produced is expected to become a part of Nigeria’s external reserve after being purchased by the Central Bank.
“PAGMI will result in the creation of thousands of new mining and formalized jobs, leading to poverty alleviation for many households. Under the scheme, artisanal and small scale gold miners will earn more from higher productivity, better recovery rates through mechanization of operations, and better access to reliable geological information,” he said.
AGF launches Committee on Financial Transparency Guidelines and Open Treasury Portal
This initiative will provide the public with financial information of all MDAs.
Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation has launched a Committee on Federal Government Financial Transparency Guidelines and Open Treasury Portal to enable Transparency on economic governance policy.
Speaking during the launch today in Abuja, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, FCNA, said the committee would provide the public with financial information of all MDAs to promote accountability and anti-corruption campaign.
The AGF said that the Honourable Minister of Finance and National Planning (HMFBNP) had in July 2018, presented a memo to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the approval to establish the Financial Transparency Guidelines and Open Treasury Portal.
“The approved Transparency Policy provides for Transparency requirements, thresholds and responsibilities as part of Government Policy on accountability in line with Freedom of Information Act 2014.
“The HMFBNP, then constituted the composition of the Quality Assurance and Compliance Committee which membership were drawn from MDAs,” he said.
Idris said that the Committee would implement transparent governance and improve the FG’s whistleblowing programme, which would help Nigerians report financial crimes in the MDAs.
He disclosed that the operations of the committee would be accounted through the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation which will offer its secretariat services to the committee, and enable the committee request information and clarification.
Idris added that the Committee would report to the Accountant General and the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed monthly, citing that the Committee would work transparently “without fear or favour”.
FG to Commission Nigerian Content Development Tower this week
The NCDMB was launched to enable the implementation of the oil gas industry’s content development.
President Muhammadu Buhari will virtually commission the 17-story Nigerian Content Tower of the Nigerian Content Development Development and Monitoring Board (NCDB) in Yenagoa on Thursday.
The building would come with its own 10 Megawatt gas-fired power plant and a 1000 seater conference hall also in the Swali area of the Bayelsa State capital.
“President Buhari will also commission the NCDMB Independent Power Plant constructed in partnership with the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
“This power plant will provide uninterrupted electricity to the NCDMB structures, the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park being developed by the Board at Emeyal 1 Bayelsa State and select structures in the state,” the agency said.
This power plant will provide uninterrupted electricity to the NCDMB structures, the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park being developed by the Board at Emeyal 1 Bayelsa State and select structures in the state.#NCDMB
— NCDMB (@OfficialNCDMB) August 10, 2020
The agency also announced that the Power Plant of the tower was constructed by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and will ensure 24/7 electricity to the tower and also to “ the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park being developed by the Board at Emeyal 1 Bayelsa State and select structures in the state”.
Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote said that some parts of the virtual launch would be held in Yenagoa, which would be attended by the Minister of State for Petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari and the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri.
Construction of the tower began in 2015 and was constructed by Megastar Technical & Construction an indigenous engineering company, the agency announced that construction of the tower provided over 250 direct and indirect jobs.
Founded in 2010 by the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, the NCDMB, was launched to enable the implementation of the oil gas industry’s content development which includes, approving Nigerian content plans for operators, growing the Nigerian Content Development Fund, maintain and operate the Joint Qualification System (NOGICJQS) in conjunction with industry stakeholders, ensure compliance by operators through sourcing of local goods and employment and many others.