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Nigeria Makes Only N496bn From Solid Mineral In 13 Years

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Nigeria realised a meagre N496billion from solid minerals in 13 years despite the country’s huge deposits, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said in its latest audit report.

The amount is what accrued to the federation as revenue between 2007 when NEITI commenced reconciliation of payments in the solid minerals sector and 2019.

Nigeria is blessed with huge deposits of solid minerals, amongst them gold, tantalite, barite, limestone, bitumen, kaolin, and topaz.

With the volume of the deposits, experts say the solid mineral sector, if well harnessed, can generate more revenue for the country and compete with the economy’s mainstay, oil and gas.

Oil and gas generated N13.9trillion ($34billion) in 2019 alone.

Wrong policies and legal encumbrances have hindered the sector from unlocking its full potentials.

The sector has also been beset by illegal and corrupt activities, with operators often failing to remit revenues to the government, mining illegally, evading tax and smuggling mined products out of the country.

The NEITI report said the sector generated just N79.96billion in 2019, and contributed 0.26 per cent to gross domestic product that year.

Of the amount generated, states shared N5.1billion, higher than N2.1billion shared in 2018.

The report said N1.16billion was distributed to solid minerals producing states as 13per cent derivation.

“Nigeria’s GDP in 2019 was ?144.210trillion with contributions from the solid minerals sector totalling ?368.99billion, representing 0.26 per cent of the total amount,” the report said.

“This shows a steady growth in the sector’s contribution to the economy in the past five years, from a contribution of 0.12 percent in 2015 to 0.26 percent in 2019.”

The report said of 702 companies that paid royalties to the government in 2019, only 74 companies paid ?3million and above.

“These 74 companies accounted for 87.63 percent of total royalties of N2.50billion paid in 2019, with the top 5 companies (Dangote Cement PLC; Lafarge PLC; Dangote Industries; Julius Berger; and Reynolds Construction) paying more than 50 percent of total royalties,” the report stated.

It also disclosed that a total of 1,296 mineral permits were issued by the Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) in 2019.

The breakdown showed that Small Scale Mining Leases were the highest with 602 permits granted.

This was followed by 501 and 169 for Exploration Licenses and Quarry Leases, respectively, while the least figure of 24 was recorded for Mining Leases.

The 2019 audit report revealed that the total volume of minerals produced was 59.82 metric tonnes.

On exports, the report said the solid minerals sector accounted for N124.23billion of the total government exports of N24.275trillion for 2019, representing just 0.51 per cent of total export for the year.

To address the issue of non-payments of taxes and multiple tax identification numbers (TIN), the NEITI report recommended that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) should carry out comprehensive tax audits to recover all unpaid taxes by companies and also work in collaboration with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD) to reconcile the multiple tax identification numbers by some companies.

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City Crime

Anglican Bishop Hails Wike’s Support For Church

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The retiring Anglican Bishop of Niger Delta Diocese, Ralph Cornelius Ebirien, has commended the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for his invaluable contributions to the church, saying that the governor has shown much love and support to the church.
Ebirien stated this during his pre-retirement press briefing at the diocesan church headquarters in Port Harcourt, yesterday, as part of activities marking his retirement and pulling out from Anglican priestly ministry as well as to mark his 70th birthday celebration, tomorrow.
The bishop, who is the sixth diocesan bishop of Niger Delta, said that the governor, through his generosity and support to the diocese, renovated the Nyemoni Grammar School, Abonnema, making the school one of the best schools in the state.
“God used Governor Nyesom Wike to renovate the Nyemoni Grammar School, today is among the best.We thank him for his love, also his Deputy, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, who is a member of diocese. They have shown us love and support”.
Recounting his 12 years’ achievement as the bishop of the diocese, Ebirien disclosed that prominent of his flagship programmes include yearly Sunday school conference, continuous training and re-training of pastors and the clergy, planting of new churches as well as giving scholarship to indigent members of the church, among others.
“We are committed to spiritual development through the revival of the Sunday school conference. The number of people we confirmed was over 5,000;we admitted many into mother’s guild, teach people Bible and prayer ministry.”
The out-going bishop, while commending members and the clergy for the support given to his family in the past 12 years, advised them to let brotherly love that has bound the church together continue, adding that what took the church to its present height was love.
“Bring the little you have for the work of God. Recognise Him as your helper, be appreciative and grateful”, he said.
Ralph urged members of the church not to be aloof in political participation but be active players in the polity.
“Get your PVC so as to vote credible men that will be God-fearing and help the church, irrespective of your party affiliation during the next elections”.
The bishop in company of members of the clergy and the leadership of the church, paid his last episcopal visit to the Port Harcourt Children Home, and Our Saviours’ Hospital owned by the church,where he donated food items, and also prayed for the inmates.

By: Akujobi Amadi

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Business

Lagos To Partner Firm On Digital Economy

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The Lagos State Governor, BabajideSanwo-Olu, has said that the State will  partner with TERAWORK, a tech platform for hiring freelancers, to explore the gig and digital economy.
According to Sanwo-Olu,  this partnership will help upskill youths and train them to seize employment opportunities in tech industries globally.
He disclosed this while paying a visit to the business stand of the company during the Lagos Employment Summit organised by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, recently.
“The Lagos State Government is scaling its intervention in critical areas of the economy. As part of that effort, we are rejigging the activities of the LSETF to broaden its impact in terms of strengthening the productivity of businesses and entrepreneurs”, he said.
He noted that the platform will offer an impressive proposition and solutions that meet the expansive needs of the active segment.
The also said that it will help businesses  to raise productivity level by leveraging the skills of a wide range of freelancers while also creating new job opportunities for the teeming youth segment.
The Chief Executive Officer, TERAWORK, Femi Taiwo, who spoke during a break out of the summit themed, ‘The Future of Work: Gig Economy’, said the gig economy is the locus of shared prosperity in the 21st century.
Taiwo, also pointed out that  it can be expanded to drive economic growth if appropriate national policies are formulated and implemented.

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City Crime

PH City Marathon: Over 3000 Athletes To Run, Saturday

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Over, 3000 athletes are expected to take part in the 16 kilo meter Port Harcourt City Marathon Race this Saturday.
Take off point is scheduled be Forces Avenue, by Christ Church,  back of SPAR shopping Mall, in Port Harcourt, by 7:00am.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with  Tidesports, on Saturday, shortly after athletes collected their  numbers of participation , at Las Mall  Hotels and Resorts,  Rumukalagbor, the Chief organiser of the event, Goodluck Azunwena, said all arrangements had been concluded for the event on Saturday.
According to him, over 200 volunteers, have indicated interest to ensure that the race was successful, adding that various medical outfits, doctors, road safety officers are fully prepared, as health talks was also delivered to athletes.
“ The crowd was really overwhelming today. Honestly we are really impressed with the turnout, that means many athletes were waiting for such event.
As I speak, so many volunteers have indicated interest to work with us, private hospitals have also pledged to give out their ambulances and doctors to be on ground that day. We have also contacted the road safety, police and other security agents to ensure a hitch-free race” Azunwena said.
He advised athletes not to take the competition like a do or die affairs saying that they should exhibit what sports stand for, that is  unity, friendship and love.
Speaking,  one of the intending competitors, Jude Nwanaopara, a footballer, said he is optimistic to win the race, in spite of the fact that this would be his first time to compete in a  long distance race.
According to him, if he comes up top he will use the money to solve his personal problems.
“ I am optimistic that I will win the race being a sportsman, but I must say that this is my first time to enter such competition.
“I have self prophecy that I am going to win” Nwanaopara said.
Another competitor,   student, Victor Okoro, said he was inspired to go for the race following his walking skill.
He explained that he had been looking for  such opportunity to run marathon race to showcase his talent, saying that he is happy that what he was looking for will happen in Port Harcourt.
“ I have the belief that I will win because I have been walking from school to my house for three hours , which is more than that 16 kilometer,” Okoro said.

By: Tonye Orabere

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