29 September 2014, Abuja – Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Musa Sada, on Monday in Abuja, said the Federal Government was planning to establish fiscal policy regime for the solid mineral sector.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Ambrose Momoh, the Head of Media in the ministry.
Momoh said Sada made the disclosure during a meeting with a delegation from the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, led by its Executive Secretary, Malam Auwal Musa.
Sada said plans were underway to get the regime for the sector to ensure that royalties, taxes and fees accrued from the minerals sector were paid into the sector’s revenue.
He said, “We are currently on the verge of getting a fiscal policy for the sector that will put together all the royalties, taxes and fees, instead of paying them into non-oil revenue.
“Such monies will then be paid into mineral sector revenue.”
The minister said the decision was necessitated by the report of the first Nigerian Extractive Industries and Transparency Initiative Audit of the solid mineral sector.
Sada said the government’s objective was to ensure that more production was carried out in the sector and corresponding taxes being paid to government coffers.
He said that various strategies were put in place by the ministry to monitor the amount of royalties paid to government from mining operations.
He commended NEITI for auditing the solid minerals sector, saying the Initiative’s observations would serve as a spring board to take further decisions in growing the sector.
The minister said that the ministry was ready to partner with relevant stakeholders for the development of the sector and thanked the delegation for the visit.
He said the country should learn from the problems associated with the oil industry and that such should not be allowed to repeat itself in the minerals sector.
“I tried to promote the concept of partnership with quite a number of organisations,” he said.
He said the Federal Government had set up a Presidential Task Force to combat illegal mining activities in the country.
Sada said establishment of mineral buying centres and standardisation of Community Development Agreements would address some of the issues raised in NEITI audit report of the sector.
He, therefore, sought for more collaboration from stakeholders for the solid minerals sector to take its rightful position in the nation’s economy.
The Executive Director, CISLAC, said the purpose of the visit was to extend the organisation’s readiness to support government to ensure that the sector moved forward.
Musa, who led the delegation, said that the organisation was at the forefront of advocating for the inclusion of solid minerals sector in the NEITI audit report.
He urged the ministry to proffer solutions to salient issues that arose from the NEITI audit report of the sector to ensure its development for the socio-economic advancement of the country.