LCCI: Solid Mineral Sector Can Generate about 5m Jobs

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Jonathan Eze

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has said that earnings from solid minerals can potentially outweigh its receipts from crude oil. This is as it noted that the sector holds capacity to generate about five million jobs and 20% of GDP over the next 10 years if the ongoing reform in the sector sails through.

With a huge reserve of about 44 minerals, the sector is endowed with huge potential for job, export revenue and local input for manufacturing and industrial production.

Chairman, Mining and Solid Minerals Group, LCCI Babatunde Alatise, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ forum held in Lagos recently.

The LCCI said it has reviewed the new roadmap for solid minerals and recent policy initiatives and identified the following areas that require urgent attention in order to successfully diversify the Nigerian economy leveraging on the mineral resource potential.

On legal and legislative governance, LCCI said the issue of what should constitute a community agreement before mine development commences seem not clearly defined in the Roadmap. “It is observed that the expectations of some communities and sub national governments are not in tune with the provisions of the mining Act.

“A truly independent regulatory mechanism is crucial for development in the mining sector. Such a regulator should be independent of the Ministry of Solid Minerals in terms of finance, organisation and management to ensure there is less of government/political interference.

“The Industry Regulator as presently proposed in the Roadmap comprises components of the Mines Cadastre Office (MCO), Mines Inspectorate Department (MID) and Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Department (ASM) departments of the ministry as an integral part of the regulatory structure. This we believe is not in tandem with best global practices.

“The “Act” should be revised to make explicit and clear provision for accountability and transparency as lack of accountability and transparency in the industry can lead to loss of government revenue to business operators and regulatory bodies.”