MMSD develops reforms to drive minerals sector

Towards the attainment of a robust economic growth, a number of reforms were initiated to reposition the minerals and metals sector for sustainable growth and development.

According to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), one of the significant reform strategies was the development of Roadmap for the Growth and Development of the Nigerian Mining Industry.

“This Roadmap formulated in 2016 gives us clear policy direction on how to develop the sector, which we have adhered to religiously to unlock the potential in the sector.

Under this initiative, seven minerals out of the 44 were designated for immediate development. They are coal, iron ore, bitumen, gold, limestone, lead-zinc and barite.

We have also adopted a forward-thinking approach, by developing the strategic minerals of the future. These include minor metals such as titanium and cobalt, which are vital to futuristic industries such as telecoms and electric vehicle manufacturing,” Minister of Mines and Steel Development Arch Olamilekan Adegbite said at a recent virtual event.

He added that, “We have operationalised an Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ASM) Remote Sensing Monitoring System to regulate and support ASM activities.

We are about to complete the automation of the Mining Cadastre System to meet international full standards for online mining title and license applications and approvals and decentralize the Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) administrative system.

We are currently establishing a Nigeria Geo Data Centre at the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) to ease online access to correct geological reports and data for investment decisions and research.

He noted that the recent establishment of the Investment Promotion and Mineral Trade Department demonstrates the zeal and preparedness to welcome global investment partners.

He therefore, encourage all stakeholders especially the local government areas to “take advantage of this vital department. Any of the LGA chairmen can walk up to the department to make enquiries about the minerals that have caught the attention of foreign investors as we have put in place incredible incentives to support investors and to unlock the sector.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has prepared a number of incentives and waivers to mining investors in the country.

Some of incentives include, customs and import duties waiver for plant, machinery and equipment imported for mining operations; tax holidays of between three to five years as applicable; free transferability of funds and permission to retain and use earned foreign exchange; capital allowances of up to 95% of qualifying capital expenditure; deductibility of environmental costs (money meant for environmental remediation will be tax free) and 100% ownership of mineral property.”