Post by Ismail AbdulAzeez on Jun 8, 2017 14:58:40 GMT 1
The Federal Government will not imposed ban on individuals or companies that export unprocessed solid minerals until it grows the sector to its full potentials, an aide to the Mines and Steel Minister, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, has said.
He said the government through the Ministry of Mines and Steel has neither penciled down any institution for proscription nor using any of its agencies to stop people from exporting unprocessed mineral resources to countries in Europe and other continents as claimed in some quarters.
He said instead, the government is focusing on how to develop the sector by providing incentives to local and foreign investors, who want to build plants for processing solid minerals into other products in the country.
In an interview with The Nation in Lagos, he said the Ministry and the Federal Government are interested in making the sector a major contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by welcoming investors into the industry.
Oyebode said such incentives include equipment leasing, funding, expertise, less stringent import requirements, access to funding, tax holiday and others.
He said investors may enjoy tax holiday, a development, that would exclude them from paying taxes over a period of time. According to him, investors will be provided with information that would aid excavation processes. He added that the idea would enable investors to know where, how and why the plants must be sited at a particular location in the country.
He said mining equipment is expensive, adding that the incentives would help investors to mitigate the cost of production for growth.
Oyebode, a Senior Special Assistant(SSA) Media to the Minister of Mines and Steel, Dr Kayode Fayemi, said a conducive operating environment is vital to the growth of the mining sector, adding that the idea would enable the Federal Government to achieve its goals of diversifying the economy by not depending only on crude oil for sustenance.
He said: “Though the government is not happy that its people are exporting unprocessed minerals, it is not interested in banning the firms that engage in such activities. Rather, the government is concentrating on how to grow the sector by providing incentives to investors that intend to build processing plants in the country. By so doing, Nigeria would be enjoying some value additions where the solid minerals are taken for processing and not countries abroad.
“Venezula extracts petrochemical materials from Nigerian crude oil, among deriving other value additions. To prevent this in solid minerals, the Federal Government wants investors to build plants for processing of minerals such as gold and other minerals into finished products.