Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday said the federal government was targeting N250billion revenue from the solid minerals sector in 2016, lamenting that the long neglect by past administrations had really affected the sector.
Fayemi, while speaking with journalists after defending the budget of his ministry before the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals at the National Assembly in Abuja, maintained that the feat is achievable, pointing out that “what has been lacking in this sector before now is the political will on the part of the leadership”.
He said: “Mr President has been very clear that this sector has to live up to its dealing and one of the ways in which we must do that is by becoming an alternative generating vehicle for the country.
“We have sat back, we have reviewed the activities of the sector, we have met with the critical stakeholders in the sector and we have understudied what obtains in other countries that have made the success of the sector and we have come to a conclusion that we can certainly raise the revenue profile.”
Fayemi added that the ministry would ensure desegregation of its activities and revenue for easy access by the Federal Inland Revenue, Service, FIRS.
He, however, stressed the need for a synergy among all the stakeholders operating in the sector, including the federal and state government, as well as various private operators, in order to raise the revenue profile of the ministry accruing to the government.
According to him, the present administration is taking steps to discourage miners who use exploration license as mining lease, a practice he said, had hindered the development of the sector over the years.
“There is a lot that is being generated in the sector right now that is not even identified with the sector that goes directly to the FIRS, and because we are putting a lot more focus on automating the activities of our mining cadastral office, we would be able to also plug the leakages.
“We also have situations in which you have people operating in the sector even without license across the board but if we are able to achieve the kind of synergy I talked about, we would certainly raise the revenue profile of this sector”, he stressed.

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