Minister of Solid Mineral Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, yesterday has said that the contribution of solid minerals to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is low.
Declaring open a seminar on “The Role of Mining Sector in Diversifying the Revenue Base of the Nigerian Economy,” Fayemi described the situation as unacceptable.
The minister noted that in spite of the recognisable size of solid minerals in every local government in Nigeria, its contribution to GDP was too low.
The one day seminar was organised by the non-oil monitoring committee of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
Fayemi, who was represented by the Minister of State, Mr Abubakar Bwari, said the contribution of the sector to GDP was as low as 0.34 per cent.
He said Nigeria had enough resources to make it one of the richest countries in the world but was rated among countries with the highest number of poor people.
Fayemi said that the present administration was determined to change that by ensuring that the solid minerals sector rivals the oil sector.
“In order to do that however, we must formalise the activities of our artisanal miners, repair moribund infrastructure and provide more respectable geosciences data.”
He said there was the need to also engage with foreign and domestic partners and work off an integrated roadmap that would emerge from a broad consultation process.
Fayemi also said that the Federal Government was focusing attention on agriculture because Nigeria was spending more than N1.5 trillion annually to import food, a situation that has put a heavy pressure on the nation’s foreign exchange.
He commended the RMAFC for showing great concern for wealth generation as part of its constitutional responsibility of monitoring revenue accruals into the Federation Account.
He said that its recommendation to upgrade the mines and inspectorate department of the Ministry into an agency was being adopted.
The department is responsible for exploitation and exploration activities as well as collection of operational fees.
Acting Chairman of the commission, Mr Shettima Abba-Gana, in an address said that the commission’s efforts geared towards generating revenue from the sector enabled it to contribute N12 billion into the federation account in 2015.
From this, he said 13 per cent derivation was paid to the states where the solid minerals were gotten from for the first time.
He, however, said that the key problems bedevilling the sector were “dominance of the mining sector by foreign companies, especially the Chinese companies and illegal mining activities by artisanal and small miners all over the country, resulting in environmental devastation and loss of revenue to government.”
Mr Ajibola Fagboyegun, a federal commissioner at the RMAFC told newsmen that the factors hindering mining exploration were being looked into.
“A situation where an individual will have title license covering very large area of land but will not be seen and the prospective investors will find it difficult to come in and work is now being redressed.
“Soon the atmosphere will be conducive for mining business with friendly policy that will encourage investors to come in.
“We are sure many people want to make money and Nigeria is a very good environment for investors to make their money,” he said.
The seminar was geared towards developing new initiatives on how to diversify the economy from crude oil to solid minerals to boost revenue.
11m Benefitted From $415m World Bank Supported CSDP – FG
The Federal Government has disclosed that 11 million Nigerians benefited from $415 million World Bank-supported Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) programme.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Umar Farouq, disclosed this in an opening address during the close out ceremony of the CSDP programme.
According to Farouq, 11 million direct beneficiaries with an estimated 25 million indirect beneficiaries across 29 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were reached between 2009 and 2021 when the CSDP programme was being implemented.
She also described the project as highly successful and highlighted sectors the project focused on including health, education, transportation, electrification, community housing, and others.
She said: “The Project became effective in 2009, has had two additional financing, all totaling USD415 million. In its over 11 years of existence, the CSDP has evolved into one of the strong pillars for the implementation of the Social Protection Programmes of the Federal Government under the supervision of my Ministry through the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO).
“The CSDP operates with the core principle of Community Driven Development (CDD) Approach. This is a development paradigm that focuses on the needs of the poor and vulnerable and empowering them with development resources to address their peculiar needs.
“Using this unique approach, the CSDP has implemented micro projects in poor communities across the 543 Local Government Areas of 29 States and the Federal Capital Territory.
“This represents about 70 per cent of the total number of Local Governments in Nigeria. The poor communities are identified specifically through the use of Poverty Maps agreed to by each participating State and FCT.
“The Project has made substantial impact on improving access of the poor and vulnerable to social and natural resources infrastructure across the benefiting communities. The total number of beneficiaries of CSDP stands at 11 million direct beneficiaries across the 29 states, with estimated 25 million indirect beneficiaries.
“Specifically, the CSDP has achieved the following: Successful completion of 16,166 micro-projects in 5,664 communities and 934 vulnerable groups. These micro-projects cut across eight sectors of intervention namely education, health, water, transportation, electrification, socio-economic, environment and community housing; 5,764 classrooms, 1,323 health centres and 4,442 water micro projects were constructed and or rehabilitated.
Cooking Gas Use Campaign Begins In 12 States
The Federal Government in collaboration with the Nigerian Energy Support Programme has kicked off the national sensitisation and awareness campaign for the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas in Nigeria beginning with 12 pilot states.
The states include Sokoto, Katsina, Bauchi, Gombe, Enugu, Ebonyi, Delta, Bayelsa, Lagos, Ogun, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory.
The government said the campaign to ensure increased usage of LPG, popularly called cooking gas, was in line with its ‘Decade of Gas’ initiative, adding that its socioeconomic and health benefits far outweighed the use of kerosene and firewood.
Speaking at the inaugural campaign in Abuja, Tuesday the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said there was no excuse for Nigeria not to be able to develop its gas sector considering the huge gas reserves in-country.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Programme Manager, National LPG Expansion Plan, Office of the Vice President, Dayo Adeshina, said the use of LPG would help in cutting down gas flaring in Nigeria.
He said the government was working to ensure that Nigeria achieved the five million metric tons LPG consumption target, adding that efforts were being made to ensure the provision of cylinders at affordable rates to Nigerians.
“Our gas reserves in this country are enormous and we have every reason to develop the gas sector and ensure that our citizens use LPG,” the Vice President said.
He added, “The use of LPG is good for our health and has better socioeconomic benefits and this is in line with the ‘Decade of Gas’ initiative of government.”
Recently, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said over 120 million Nigerians were experiencing energy poverty despite the huge natural gas resources across the country.
Participants at the awareness campaign also called for adequate penetration of LPG usage in Nigeria, as they pledged to support the government in achieving this target.
Rail Transport Suffers 38% Decline In Q1 2021 – NBS
Rail transportation suffered a 38 per cent, year-on-year average decline in passenger and cargo travel in the first quarter of the year 2021 (Q1’21).
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) disclosed this yesterday in its Rail Transport Data for Q1’21, which showed that passenger travel fell by 34.4 per cent, year-on-year, to 424,460 passengers in Q1’21 from 647,055 passengers recorded in Q1’2020.
Similarly, cargo travel fell by 43.13 per cent, year-on-year, to 10,511 tons in Q1’21 from 18,484 recorded in Q1 2020.
The NBS stated: The rail transportation data for Q1 2021 reflected that a total of 424,460 passengers travelled via the rail system in Q1 2021 as against 647,055 passenger recorded in Q1 2020 and 134,817 in Q4 2020 representing -34.40 per cent decline year-on-year and +214.84 per cent growth QoQ respectively.
“Similarly, a total of 10,511 tons of volume of goods/cargo travelled via the rail system in Q1 2021 as against 18,484 recorded in Q1 2020 and 35,736 in Q4 2020 representing -43.13 per cent decline year-on-year and -70.59 per cent decline QoQ respectively.
Revenue generated from passengers in Q1 2021 was put at N892,467,526 as against N398,999,290 in Q4 2020.
Similarly,revenue generated from goods/cargo in Q1 2021 was put at N26.19 million as against N82.57 million in Q4 2020.
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