The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to clamp down on tax evaders and revenue leakages in the mining sector as it introduced new Mineral Export Guidelines.
On the lingering challenges burdening the mining sector, stakeholders during the 2019 Nigeria Mining Week shared their concerns as the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, accused some mining companies operating in the country of under-remitting taxes to the Federal Government.
“There would be no room for royalty payment evasion. All mineral exports shall be inspected by government-appointed independent pre-shipment inspection agents, who are empowered by law to render quantity and quality control services and monitor pricing. This control mechanism is in accordance with the Pre-shipment Inspection of Exports Act,” he said.
According to Adegbite, the Federal Government was planning to partner with stakeholders in the industry in order to deepen the reforms and foster a conducive ecosystem for private sector participation and growth.
He added that a strong network was being built in order to enhance the nation’s competitiveness as a world-class mineral exploration destination that foreign investors would find attractive.
Adegbite disclosed that Nigeria had only been able to attract 0.12 % out of the 5% share of exploration investment flowing into the West African region.
Although mining has a significant role to play in the economy, the sector is still classified as non-performing despite the host of many mineral resources embedded within the states in Nigeria.
Also commenting on the mining sector was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Pedro Omontuemhen, who lauded the government’s efforts at reviving the sector. He, however, said that in some African countries the contribution of mining to the GDP hovers around 15-25% but Nigeria’s contribution is less than 1%, adding the sector was critical to Nigeria leading as much as 100 million people out of poverty.