The remarkable improvement in Nigeria’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rating, has been attributed to the various reforms by the present administration, including reforms in the mineral and mining sector.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who disclosed this in Abuja on Monday, said the reforms in the mining sector has helped to reposition the sector as a major revenue earner and improved the country’s rating as a mining destination of choice.
Dr Fayemi spoke at the opening session of a policy and capacity building workshop for senior officials of the ministry, professionals and stakeholders in the mining industry, organised in partnership with the Australian government.
The Australian delegation, which comprised of mining experts, was led by the Deputy High Commissioner, Cleo Wilson.
The Minister stated that the mining sector was being positioned to contribute optimally to diversifying the Nigeria economy’s revenue base and creating jobs and economic opportunity for the nation as captured in the Roadmap for the growth and development of the mining industry.
He said the workshop would provide officials of the ministry, and other stakeholders essential knowledge as well a great opportunity to share experiences on both technical and regulatory issues.
Dr. Fayemi said that the ministry’s aspirations is to build a World Class Mineral and Mining ecosystem designed to serve a targeted domestic and export market for the mineral sector, adding that the Federal Government has demonstrated commitment by collaborating with different stakeholders including government of advanced mining jurisdiction.
He said the workshop with the theme: “Policy and Capacity Building Workshop for a Successful and Sustainable Mining Sector 2018”, was a follow up to the first edition that took place in 2016, which focused on the significance of transparency, legislation, and regulatory framework as well as geoscience and resource information.
Represented at the workshop by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Muazu Abdulkadir, the Minister noted mining’s contribution to the country’s economic growth that grew by 0.55% as at 2017.
“The mining sector also grew by 2.24% and achieved a 300% increase in revenue (royalty and fees) between 2015 and 2016, and a steady progress and as at November 2017, the sector had already surpassed the entire revenue of about N2billion generated for the whole of 2016, with over N3.5billion contributed to the federation account. “
“We also excitedly welcomed the news that Nigeria moved up an unprecedented 24 steps in the World Bank’s Ease-of-Doing-Business ranking, and was adjudged one of the 10 top reforming economies. Reforms in the sector and efforts to make the Nigerian jurisdiction more attractive to investors impacted on Nigeria’s ranking in perception indices in the ‘World Risk Report’, published by the Mining Journal, which indicates that Nigeria has made remarkable improvements in both hard risk and perceived risk factors.
“The Nigerian Mining Jurisdiction is now considered to have a better investment risk profile than several other leading jurisdictions, and among the best in Africa”.
Speaking further, the Minister said that Nigeria and Australia have a long standing history of commercial, cultural and diplomatic build up link built up over the years. That both countries had in 2012 signed an MoU covering political economic, commercial, Scientific, technical and cultural cooperation.
According to the Minister, “We recognize that the imperative of cooperation has never been more urgent as we pursue maximal growth for the sector. The economic fortunes and aspirations of sovereign countries of the world over are now so interconnected and inseparable.
“In Nigeria, we consider it imperative to go beyond our borders to engage ever more intensely with the matrix of knowledge, experience and global support. In an interconnected world, no nation can pursue its economic interests as an island.
“Essentially, the significance of this workshop is to provide information on leading practice from Australia on building a sustainable mining sector for Nigeria. There is no better time to have this workshop than now, diversification is ongoing and at the heart of the government’s agenda.”