New Telegraph

Solid Minerals Policy Will Boost Economic Benefits – Idahosa

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said that the policy to regulate the solid minerals sector in Nigeria has potential economic benefits.

The President of LCCI, Gabriel Idahosa who disclosed this at the chamber’s first press conference in 2024 said the associated challenges will be crucial to realizing the sector’s full potential and ensuring sustainable and inclusive development.

He said with the decline in the Global oil market, diversifying into the solid minerals sector reduces Nigeria’s dependency on oil revenues.

According to him, Nigeria’s reliance on oil income is lessened by expanding into the solid minerals sector in light of the downturn in the global oil market.

This improves economic stability and lessens the negative effects of changes in oil prices on the national economy.

“The development of the solid minerals sector is likely to create job opportunities across various stages of exploration, mining, processing, and marketing.

“This can contribute significantly to reducing unemployment rates and fostering economic growth.

“The effective regulation of the solid minerals sector can lead to increased revenue generation for the government through taxes, royalties, and other levies.
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“This additional revenue can be utilised for infrastructure development, social programs, and other public services.

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“By regulating the sector, Nigeria can position itself to participate more effectively in the global market for solid minerals. This can open new opportunities for international trade and partnerships.”

The LCCI president noted that the approval of this policy review allows for better management and utilization of the abundant solid mineral resources in Nigeria, saying “This ensures that these resources are exploited judiciously, efficiently, and sustainably, preventing their depletion and ensuring long-term economic benefits.

“However, the successful implementation of the policy may face various challenges, including regulatory hurdles, lack of infrastructure, and bureaucratic inefficiencies. These challenges could hinder the intended benefits of the policy.”

He emphasized that “unregulated mining activities, even with a policy in place, may pose environmental risks such as deforestation, soil erosion, and water pollution. Strict adherence to environmental standards and effective monitoring will be crucial to mitigate these concerns.”

Idahosa noted that “the Ministry of Solid Minerals should provide clarity to all stakeholders, especially the state governments as to the position of mining in the exclusive list of the 1999 constitution.

“The interference of the state government in private licensed miners’ operations could be a significant threat to the growth of the industry. They should instead be encouraged to set up their mining SPVS to participate in the industry.

“The promotion of responsible mining by companies through improved regulation and robust community engagement should be encouraged. This will ultimately address land conflicts and environmental degradation.

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