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Lagos chamber offers guide on CBN forex policy

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to focus on the solid minerals industry including its…

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to focus on the solid minerals industry including its value addition to successfully implement the foreign exchange repatriation programme (RT200FX).

The Bankers Committee had unveiled the ‘Race to $200 billion in FX Repatriation programme (RT200 FX), an initiative to boost non-oil exports to attract $200 billion inflow exclusively from non-oil exports over the next three to five years.

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Speaking at the Nigeria Mining Summit themed ‘Solid Minerals: The Foreign Exchange Game Changer’ hosted by LCCI, the Chairman of the Mining and Solid Minerals Group, Oluwaseun Olatunji, said there are low hanging fruits that would provide quick wins for all participants including commercial banks, governments, mining companies and labour.

According to him, published data from CBN Economic Reports on Nigeria’s non-oil export earnings shows solid minerals export contributing $295 million of the $631m total non-oil export earnings in Q2 2015. 

Over 40% of the annual non-oil export earning has been from mining, the data showed and by the fourth quarter of 2020, non-oil receipts was $6.85bn with mining still contributing significantly.

He said, “Let us start from increasing the production and value addition capacities of existing operators in the solid minerals sector as it stands today; because it is a fact that 80 per cent of operators in the Nigerian mining sector are either artisanal or small-scale mining companies.”

He lauded the government for creating mineral processing plants across the six geopolitical zones.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite said: “The kind of money we get in the budget cycle will not be enough to take us anywhere. Fossil fuel might be here for more than 25 years, what will replace fossil fuel is from minerals and we have not even started investing the kind of funds that will give us the quantity of minerals we need to replace fossil fuel.”

While describing the solid minerals sector as a high-risk sector, he stressed the need for bankers to come in to design the risk portfolio to attain the benefits.