Nigeria’s solid minerals sector has contributes three billion Naira annually to the federation account, Minister for Solid Minerals and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari said on Thursday in Zurich.
Bwari stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) on the sidelines of the 2018 Nigeria Business and Investment Forum holding in Zurich .
He said that the new figure was from royalties paid by operators noting that in previous years the sector generated N700 million annually.
According to him, the sector could generate more revenue if the challenges of illegal mining, smuggling and lack of technical know – how are addressed.
“ In 2015 the president gave us the mandate of developing the solid minerals sector in order to return it back to its old glory of the 1960s.
“ The mandate includes revenue generation, creation of jobs and ensuring better mining practices”
“What we did was to address the challenges in the sector and came up with a roadmap that would reposition the sector to its old glory.
“So far we have succeeded in finding solutions to some of the challenges impeding growth of the sector”
“ To this end, mining activities has increased. Similarly 13 per cent derivation is being enjoyed by host states.
“Also we have a huge interest from international investors and an increase in the issuance of mining licenses “The Minister said.
Bwari, also noted that the Ministry had facilitated a “Purchase programme” where the Central Bank can buy refined gold from miners and save as deposits for future trade.
NAN reports that mining in the country dates back to 1903. Coal, Limestone, Bitumen, Barite, Iron Ore, and Lead/Zinc are among the main viable resources for economic development .