Revenue diversification initiative of the Federal Government from oil to non-oil sector is paying off with solid minerals revenue accruals to federation purse crossing N50 billion mark in 12 years, figure exclusively obtained from Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission ( RMAFC) showed. From hitherto N1.1 million revenue earned from solid minerals, the amount realised progressed to N50 billion in 2023, a top official of the Commission informed this medium on Wednesday in Abuja. “The Commission championed the opening of solid minerals component of the federation account in 2011, and since then the revenue accrual has witnessed a steady growth.
“Till date, the sector has contributed over N50 billion to the federation account”, he said, noting that the only inhibiting constrain facing solid minerals sector is that the sector is to an extent still driven by artisans. The official, who spoke to New Telegraph anonymously, explained that following RMAF- Cs’ reforms of the sector, solid minerals producing states have been getting 13 per cent deriva- tion fund like their oil produc- ing counterpart states.This me- dium was told Nigeria has over 44 minerals. “If we can harness that, it will increase the revenue base of the country. There are activi- ties going on in this sector by the artisanal miners which are not recorded. These are not captured in the revenue of government,” said the source. The Commission, it was learnt, had reinvigorated solid minerals department saddle with the responsibility of monitory accruals into and disbursement of revenue from the federation account from the solid minerals sector. This is conducted through regular monitoring of the relevant Agencies particularly, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), investigates , enquire and acquire data on practices in the solid minerals sector including Coal, Iron ore, Gold, Barites, Cement related minerals (Lime stones). What mineral(s) that are being explored and exploited and by who and under what agreement (foreign or local) and the taxing system and how the federation account is benefiting. He said the commission was equipped with personnel trained to collect and collate revenue data on all solid minerals in Nigeria, identifying the states, local governments and communities where the solid . inerals deposit (including bitumen) is located and determine if the minerals exist in such a commercial quantity as to guarantee that its further exploration and exploitation can generate (more) revenues to the federation account. Despite its huge but untapped potential, mining sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product ( GDP) remains low. A joint diagnostic report of Nigeria Economic Summit Group ( NESG) and Ford Foundation last year on Nigeria’s mining sector noted the sector was capable of driving Federal Government’s policy of pull- ing 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030 if properly harnessed. The report takes a look at the Nigerian solid minerals industry and what needs to be done to transform it into an economically viable sector. It describes Nigerian solid minerals industry as one of the potential employment-generat- ing sectors with a vast capacity to bridge government’s revenue gaps, promote inclusive growth and supporting economic struc- tural transformation. A mineral-abundant nation, Nigeria is endowed with over 40 different solid mineral types found in about 450 locations scattered across the country.