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NEITI Wants FG to Deepen Reforms in Solid Minerals Sector

Government should continue to deepen the ongoing reforms in the mining sector and oversee the full implementation of the roadmap to achieving its 5 per cent contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has recommended in its latest report.

In addition, the Dr Ogbonnaya Orji-led organisation stressed that the government and international development partners should collaborate with NEITI to develop and improve her technical capacity, to better discharge its responsibilities.

“The target of government is to increases the contribution of the solid minerals sector to the GDP to 5 per cent,” the report stated.

It called for a refocusing of geological data acquisition, improving mineral beneficiation, establishing lapidaries to aid gemstone cutting and polishing.

“Government should invest more in the generation of geological data, access to funding and engagement with the relevant stakeholders in order to sustain investment and revenue growth in the sector,” the document said.

Although it stated that there was  significant compliance with the NEITI audit process, it recommended that government puts in place strict sanctions against non responsive companies. 

This, it said, will deter future occurrence and, most importantly, help to maintain the integrity of the NEITI audit process. 

It called on the Mining Cadastre Office (MCO)  to intensify its effort and vigorously pursue the recovery of outstanding liability into government coffers.

 NEITI urged the MCO to invoke the relevant sections of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act 2007 and the regulations made pursuant thereto, and revoke mineral titles whose holders have defaulted in the payment of their annual service fee to the government.

“Similarly, after the revocation of such titles, the holders should be made to pay all outstanding liabilities prior to the revocation in accordance with the Act. 

“Government should create an enabling environment to attract investors into the exploration and exploitation of minerals with higher value in these states. 

“The government should also prioritise, embark on, and promote or support industrialisation and other policies that encourage local industries and local use of the minerals. This will reduce over dependence on export for revenue or increased revenue from the sector,” it noted.

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