In the last 13 years, Nigeria has made only $1.4 billion from solid minerals, the Nigerian Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Ogbonnaya Orji said this during his speech at the launch of the initiative’s 2022–2026 Strategic Plan in Abuja earlier this week.
According to Dr. Orji, the solid minerals sector has huge potential and could become an important contributor to Nigeria’s GDP.
Dr. Orji said: “Our projection is that if the solid mineral sector is thrown open for investment, it has the potential to contribute over 60 percent to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). At 60 percent of Nigeria’s GDP, that would mean outperforming oil.
“This is our target. We have done an extensive scoping study and seen the potential of the solid minerals sector.”
In addition, he said, “So far, NEITI has conducted and published 11 cycles of audits in the solid minerals sector, spanning the years 2007 – 2020. From the NEITI reports, a total of N624.1 billion was recorded as revenue that has accrued to the government from the sector over a 13-year period, which in today’s exchange rate amounts to about $1.4 billion compared to the enormous $394 billion earned in the oil and gas sector in just 10 years.
“This shows negligence to the enormous potential in the solid minerals sector. NEITI, in line with its mandate, encourages disclosures of payments accrued to the government to build trust among the stakeholders and promote transparency and accountability in the management of solid mineral resources.”
In November 2022, the Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) noted that Nigeria’s solid minerals sector lacks appropriate data. According to EITI’s Mission Critical report, Nigeria’s solid mineral sector is characterized by artisanal mining.
It stated further that the lack of data discourages investors. Meanwhile, the availability of comprehensive and public geological data determines the ability of resource-rich countries to attract responsible investors and negotiate favorable terms for the country and its people.
Briefly explaining the strategic plan, Dr Orji said it is a direct response to the issues of the global energy transition, contract transparency, and government partnerships. Under the strategic plan, there are three major objectives, which are: Enhancing extractive sector governance reforms through policy research, strategic stakeholder engagement, communication, and inter-agency collaboration.
The other plan is maintaining extractive reporting and relevance by prioritizing national and international priorities. The last plan he explained is, achieving operational excellence in implementing the NEITI mandate through professionalism, innovation, the use of technology, resource management, and capacity building.Follow us on social media