19 November 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja — The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Sunday, said the country earned N69.2 billion from the solid minerals sector in 2015 and also earned $9.733 million from the export of solid minerals.
NEITI said earnings from export was 1.45 percent of non-oil exports for the year, while earnings from the sector increased by 24 percent on the N55.8 billion earned from the sector in 2014.
In a statement in Abuja, NEITI said this was contained in its latest independent audit report released on Sunday following the approval of the report by the National Stakeholders Working Group, which is the board of NEITI.
The report disclosed that the total production of solid minerals in the country stood at 39.27 million tons, representing a reduction of 17% from the 47.1 million tons produced in 2014.
According to the report, the drop in 2015’s production was attributed to insecurity in parts of the country and more stringent approval process for explosives used in mining.
Lead and zinc, it said, topped the chart with 79% valued at $7.7 million, while 175 ounces of gold valued at only $122,000 were exported during the period.
The report also showed that the solid minerals sector contributed 0.12% to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015, a marginal increase of 0.01% on the 0.11% contribution of the sector to GDP in 2014.
However, it noted that while mineral production reduced, government revenues went up in the same year.
It said, “This increase in revenue was due to the growth in taxes collected from the sector and review of royalty rates paid by companies which came into effect within the year under review.”
NEITI disclosed that its previous solid minerals audit reports had recommended an upward review of Nigeria’s royalty rates to align with prevailing industry and present-day realities.
In addition, the report highlighted the specific contributions by companies and states to the sector revenue growth and development.
Specifically, the report stated that cement manufacturing companies were the major revenue contributors to the sector, accounting for over 60%, while construction companies and real mining companies contribute about 31% and 8% respectively.
For instance, the report said, three states — Ogun, Kogi and Cross River and the FCT accounted for about 70% of the production volumes in 2015, noting, however, that Ogun state topped the table with 36%.
According to the report, a total of 4,305 mineral titles were valid in 2015, of this figure, 204 were mining leases, 657 were for small-scale mining, 1,865 were for quarrying licenses while exploration licenses accounted for the remaining 1579.
It also noted that 1,220 of the 4,305 mining titles were issued in 2015 alone.
Commenting on the report, Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio, said “This report shows evidence that the contribution of the solid minerals sector to government revenues and macroeconomic indicators is beginning to improve, even if marginally.
“The sector could definitely contribute more to revenues, job and wealth creation, exports, imports substitution, industrial development and overall national growth.
“But there is a sign of progress already,” Adio added.
“What we need to do is to build on, deepen and sustain this early promise to ensure that the country returns to being a major mining destination and maximizes the abundant opportunities offered by the sector”.
“Faithful and sustained implementation of the roadmap developed by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and of the recommendations in this report will be necessary.”
Adio also disclosed that the NEITI 2015 Oil and Gas report will be released next month, while he reaffirmed the commitment of the Board to ensuring that its reports are more timely.
He said, “Resources and processes permitting, NEITI plans to clear the backlog of reports by the middle of 2018. Our goal is not just to make our reports more timely but also to make them as real-time as possible to enhance their utility and relevance.
“We are finalizing the procurement process of the 2016 reports and will soon commence the procurement for the 2017 reports. We are also working hard to automate our data collection and to mainstream the EITI process”.
“Once we achieve this, we hope to then concentrate more on adding extra value to the country through cutting-edge analyses, modeling and forecasting, and setting agenda for more prudent and accountable application of natural resources for the benefits of all Nigerians.”