EXPLORATION of Nigeria’s solid minerals for successful integration to diversify the economy will not attract requisite foreign investment except commitments were made by government to check fiscal instability, multiple taxation and outrageous demands by host communities.
These are the views of the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Waziri Adio at the just concluded First Northern Nigeria Solid Minerals Fair and Workshop in Kaduna.
Speaking on the paper; Transparency and Accountability in Improving Performance in the Solid Minerals Sector, Waziri who was represented by Mr Ahmed Bassi, disclosed that until matters of multiple taxation and uncertain fiscal environment are curbed, the enabling environment for guaranteed solid minerals investment might not be attained.
“The solid minerals sector is supposed to be one of the focal point for national development but we need to provide an incentive for enabling environment for people to come and invest in this sector.
“Two things are working against this; one is that of inadequate geographical data. As stakeholders we need to ask this critical question, what about the multiplicity of taxes?
“We know that royalty payment is only paid to the Federal Government but you receive payment for so many things.
State governments come with arbitrary fees; we know there are charges as fees paid for road maintenance for instance. But when you produce limestone of gemstone, local government collect it’s share, state government demand their own and the host communities come with 101 demands. Does it make business viable for any investor to come and invest? I don’t think so.”
Adio advocated a compact data regime where investors have access to unified information on licensing, operations and taxes.
In his contribution, Director-General of Raw Materials Research and Development Council, Dr Hassan Doko Ibrahim, disclosed that as at 2015, more than 4000 mineral titles were granted, two-third of them were issued to operators in Northern Nigeria.