FG Seeks Support To Boost Revenue From Solid Minerals

The Federal Government is seeking support from stakeholders in the Nigerian capital market to harness the revenue potentials of the solid minerals sector.

This is just as it described the Nigerian capital market as a key catalyst for the development of the critical sectors of the economy.

It said the capital market it possesses a credible platform of obtaining medium to long term finance to grow the sector.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed said these during a Webinar organized by the Securities and Exchange Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development.

The seminar had as its theme, “Financing the solid minerals sector through the Capital Market and the critical role of Commodity Exchanges.”

Ahmed said the facilitation of funding and provision of structured market platforms such as the Commodities Exchanges portends significant addition for the mining and solid minerals sector.

She stated that the event and its theme are very relevant to the economy given the need to diversify and grow the economy and to enable the nation achieve sustainable development in the post covid-19 pandemic.

According to her, “Given the economic challenges occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic, the ongoing efforts of the Federal Government to achieve economic diversification has been affected by a decline in revenue, underlined by volatility in global oil prices which is our main source of foreign exchange earnings.

“The mining sector is strategically based as alternative source for revenue generation in the economic diversification plan of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

Ahmed said the initiative of employing the commodities exchange in this regard will encourage responsibility accounting and fairness to governance.

She explained further that this initiatives will also facilitate the collection of all royalty and fees due to the government from the export of solid minerals sector, ensuring the integrity of the mining data, minimizing revenue leakages and removing undue bottlenecks experienced with transactions by both exporters of minerals as well as regulatory agencies.

In an address of welcome, the Director-General of SEC, Mr. Lamido Yuguda said with over 44 minerals found across the federation, the solid minerals sector can be significantly instrumental in the on-going quest to diversify the economy from its heavy reliance on crude oil.

Yuguda said the sector has also been identified as a back bone of the investor value chain which is an essential source of input for key industries such as construction, automobiles, electronics, aircrafts and ship building.

He said “We believe that the Nigerian Commodity trading system and indeed the capital market can be the transformational patronage to bring about this positive changes in the sector.

“With opportunities provided for better access to marketing of produce, price discovery and valuable market information, a striving commodities trading eco system has the potential to foster inclusive mining prosperity by efficiently linking commodities to industries in sufficient scale thereby promoting the output, creating jobs, improving living standards and unlocking the economic potentials of mining communities.

“It will also enhance financial inclusion of artisan miners, foster mineral production, stimulate exports and ultimately engendered economic development amongst other benefits.”

In a keynote address, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Solid Minerals and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, described the webinar as timely because its coming at a time that the President has put all necessary machinery in place to revamp the sector for economic stability.

He said, “We eagerly want to change this through implementation of the roadmap to contribute about five per cent to GDP by 2025. Inadequate funding has been the bane of underdevelopment; it is on this premise that I welcome this partnership with the SEC.”

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