Solid Minerals Contribute Over N2b To Federation Account In One Year – RMAFC Boss | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Solid Minerals Contribute Over N2b To Federation Account In One Year – RMAFC Boss

Posted: Aug 10, 2015 at 1:27 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chibuzor Emejor, Abuja

Chairman of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Elias Mbam, has said that the solid minerals sector has contributed over N2billion to the Federation Account in the last one year.

Mbam said this at the weekend when the Miners Association, led by its President, Sani Shehu, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.

He stated the resolve of the RMAFC to partner the Miners Association of Nigeria to enhance revenue generation and create employment opportunities for improved socio-economic living conditions of Nigerians.

Mbam recalled with nostalgia the glorious era when Nigeria heavily relied on revenue derived from the solid minerals sector for the execution of its development programmes, provision of infrastructure and other basic services.

The Chairman also commended the executive and members of the association for their sustained interest in the growth and development of the solid minerals sector in spite of the enormous challenges, promising to partner the association in its quest to diversify the economy especially in the face of dwindling oil revenue.

A statement by the Head, Public Relations of RMAFC, Ibrahim Mohammed, quoted Mbam as saying that the Commission had supported the development of the sector through the Natural Resources Fund domiciled in the Central Bank.

In his remarks earlier, President of the Association, Sani Shehu  disclosed that the Association, an umbrella organisation that embodies private individuals, corporate bodies and minerals bearing communities involved in all aspects of the development of the mining industry in the country, has over four thousand members in all parts of the country.

Shehu lamented that the solid mineral sector that had in the past provided massive employment to the people and substantial revenue to the Government became neglected due to the discovery of oil, indigenisation policy of the then Government which discouraged foreign investment and the collapse of international tin market in the 70s and 80s.

“Indeed it is disturbing to observe that our local industries largely depend on imported minerals such as Gypsum, Barite, Talc, and Kaolin as their raw materials despite the availability of such minerals in Nigeria,” he said.

The President also observed that it was disheartening to note that base metals such as tin, columbite, lead, zinc, tantalite and Gemstones are being exported without any value addition, thus depriving the operators of an excellent price and add to the unemployment challenge prevailing in Nigeria.

He recalled with disgust previous efforts aimed at transforming the solid minerals sector by the successive administrations, which did not make the required impact, thus leaving the industry seriously begging for attention and funding intervention to re-emerge as a foremost economic sector in Nigeria.

To redress this anomaly, the President called for the prompt implementation of the provisions of the Minerals and Mining Act section 38a, which states that the Solid Mineral Development Fund (shall consist of any appropriation for solid minerals development under the Revenue Act or any other Federal Law), just as he lauded the present administration for its tremendous passion for the growth of the non-oil sector of the economy especially the solid minerals sector.