The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said the mining sector contributes less than one per cent to the economy.
A statement said the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, stated this when he received executive members of the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) led by their President, Alhaji Kabiru Muhammed.
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He described this low revenue contribution from the solid minerals sector as unacceptable considering the vast resources in Nigeria.
Orji said: “From findings of NEITI’s audits reports, the mining sector currently contributes less than one per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is unacceptable considering the quantum and variety of mineral resources spread all over Nigeria.
“We are aware that the sector is dominated by artisanal and small-scale miners, and we have advised the government through recommendations contained in our reports to devise means to formalize operations of this category of miners to enable them to contribute to the development of the sector and the economy.
“I am aware that this process has commenced by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development. We need this to be hastened.”
The NEITI executive secretary described activities of illegal minerals buying centres across the country as a major revenue leakage to the government and that it was worrisome to the agency.
He also said NEITI’s intervention in the sector began with a comprehensive scoping study.
President of MAN Alhaji Kabir Muhammed congratulated the executive secretary on his appointment, noting that NEITI and MAN have come a long way as natural partners with common interests in the growth and development of Nigeria’s mining sector.