• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Nigeria rakes in N16.3bn from Solid Minerals

Nigeria rakes in N16.3bn from Solid Minerals

The Federal Government of Nigeria earned N16,395,640,771.58 from May, 2023 to April 2024 from mining royalties and sundry fees.

The minister of solid minerals development, Dele Alake, according to Leadership Newspaper report disclosed this on Thursday at the Sectoral Updates Series to mark the first anniversary of President Bola Tinubu administration in Abuja. He said the earning came through Mining Cadastral Office (MCO), an agency under the ministry that is in charge of mineral title administration.

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Alake, however, stated that the figure was in surplus of N6,746,317,807.09 (N6.7bn) over and above the target of N10,566,635,560.24 (N10.5bn) set for the agency.

The minister in the report further revealed that the Ministry generated and collected the sum of N14,938,164,335.43 as of the year ended December 31, 2023 and this represents 72.1% positive variance and 172.1% performance when compared with the annual budgetary target of N8,680,197,621.00 for year 2023.

He also reported that the ministry, through the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF), collaborated with GeoScan Gmbh for the exploration and development of Nigerian critical mineral resources using innovative technology.

On funding, he stated that the ministry had also struck a deal with the African Finance Corporation (AFC) to raise a project development facility to fund companies facing the challenge of raising capital to execute their early-stage exploration projects, adding that at least 20 candidates had been shortlisted and were undergoing training to prepare and manage the funds efficiently.

“Another initiative of SMDF is its partnership with the global exploration agency, XCalibur. Both are working together to advance Nigeria’s geological data capabilities.

“The SMDF is the face of the Ministry as the partner of choice for international mining companies. It mobilises capital for critical and strategic mining projects, attracts foreign direct investment, and fast-tracks the delivery of final investment decisions,” he explained.

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On the gathering of big data, he further said in the report that the ministry proposed a N70 billion exploration funding for it. He, however, noted that although it was not accommodated in the current budget, the ministry would continue to make a strong case for the project as the panacea to the difficulty in mineral exploitation in Nigeria.

Alake also spoke about the efforts of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) in engaging in strenuous research to unravel the mineralogy of the Nigerian landscape despite shortage of funds as well as the fight against illegal mining with the setting up of the 2200-strong Mining Marshals, among others.