By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
The Federal Government (FG) has stated that it is putting things in place to move Nigeria from a ranking of 169 out of 189 countries in the World Bank ease of doing business to at least 20 spaces better in the coming ranking. Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo who stated this on Monday in Abuja, said that the Federal Government is fully focused on making it easier to do business in Nigeria.
Osinbajo made the statement in Abuja at the the International Mining Investment Conference/Exhibition on Nigeria, themed, ‘Connecting the global mining industry to the opportunities of the solid minerals sector in Nigeria.’
The Vice President (VP) who was represented at the occasion by the Special Adviser, economic office of the VP, Adeyemi Dipeolu said.
“We are seeking to cooperate with our partners in the solid minerals sector to come up with a strategy for ensuring that it plays it’s desired role as a major economic sector in Nigeria.
“Budgetary provisions for the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development allotment this year is far larger than the allocation that the ministry has had in the past five years.
“Let me assure local and foreign investors that in our quest to grow this sector FG is fully focused on making it easier to do business in Nigeria. As a matrix we are planning and taking actions already on trying to move Nigeria from a ranking of 169 out of 189 countries in the World Bank ease of doing business to move us at least 20 spaces better in the coming ranking, we do hope by this gesture, governments efforts will be reciprocated by the respect for the rule of law and commitment to promoting the development of this country including the payment of taxes as required.”
Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi stated that Nigeria can generate N5 trillion annually from mining and exporting of its vast minerals deposits with multiplier effects on job creation, state development and social infrastructure.
He added that in 2015, the solid minerals sector contributed 0.33% to the Gross Domestic Product of the country and the sector hopes to contribute 5%-7% over the next 10-15 years.
His words, “Today, based on current data, Nigeria’s solid minerals sector only makes up about 0.34% of gross domestic product (GDP). While that is significant, it is much smaller than its true potential as the vast majority of our mining assets have yet to be exploited.
“According to one of the major stakeholders in the solid minerals sector, the Association of Metal Exporters of Nigeria, we can generate at least N5 trillion annually from mining and exporting of its vast solid mineral deposits, with several multiplier effects on job creation, state development and social infrastructure that could position the solid minerals sector as the main catalyst for national development.
“Ancillary requirements for the proper functioning of the minerals and mining ecosystem such as infrastructure – e.g. railroad, competitive financing systems, mine and asset security, and related support services – are missing. We need changes in legislation – e.g. the passage of an amendment to the Nigeria Railways Corporation Act to break NRC’s monopoly and enable miners to set up private transport networks to move bulk minerals around the country for processing.