Revenue from exports of mining commodities increased by 592 percent between 2016 and 2017, Kayode Fayemi, Nigeria’s minister of mines and steel development has said, noting that the sector also recorded a seven percent increase in gross domestic products (GDP) in 2016, despite the country being in recession.
The minister, giving an account of his stewardship at a special meeting to announce his resignation in Abuja cited the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) affirmation of the sector’s contribution in the first quarter as one of the advancements achieved under his watch. His resignation followed his election as the governorship candidate of the Action People’s Congress (APC) in Ekiti State in the 2019 elections.
The ministry recorded improved productivity in the sector when its contribution to the federation account tripled from N700 million in 2015 to about N2 billion in 2016.
Fayemi had in 2016, promised to generate more than N3 billion through mining fees and royalty by 2017, but the ministry managed to achieve a N3.5 billion contribution to the federation account in 2017.
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According to him, his stewardship in the ministry has been strategic as it coincided with the present administration’s determination to reposition the minerals and metals sector to serve as a frontier for economic diversification. He said the broad mandates were to increase the revenue generated from the sector and its contribution to the national GDP.
“We were asked to develop the sector and improve its capacity to create jobs and broaden the range of economic opportunities available to Nigerians; to contribute to this administration’s fight against corruption by identifying and bringing economic saboteurs in the mining sector to book; and to promote peace and unity in the country by working to ensure that all stakeholders in the sector, especially host communities and state governments are able to beneficially participate in the sector,’’ he said.
His administration, he said, was also able to achieve other strides such as the development of the Roadmap for the Growth and Development of the Nigerian Mining Sector, improved funding of N30 billion intervention fund from the Natural Resources Development Fund as well as 150 million dollars from World Bank Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MSSED or MinDiver) support.
According to him, the ministry has reached an advanced stage in assembling 600 million dollars from the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and other financial institutions.
He added that administration also addressed weak institutional capacity, set in motion parameters to decentralise the operations of the cadastre office by establishing six regional outposts for the Mining Cadastre Office to further fast-track the procurement of licenses and titles.
“We have also improved collaboration between the ministry and our security agencies, especially the Nigeria Customs Service to address illegal exportation and smuggling of minerals and the NSCDC in checkmating cases of illegal mining activities.’’
Alhaji Abubakar Bwari, the Minister of state said the minister was able to address a lot of challenges they met on assumption of office, adding that the ministry that used to be a dry land had been turned around by Fayemi.