…Says Nigeria an investment haven for investors
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite, has revealed that the Federal Government of Nigeria in its relentless commitment to rejuvenate the solid minerals sector has provided support towards putting up a strong policy and regulatory structure to attract investment into Nigeria.
Addressing a cross-section of global leaders, professionals, investors and chief executives of junior, mid-tier and major mining companies at the 2022 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) International Convention, Trade Show and Investors Exchange, he said the government in its relentless commitment towards attracting domestic and foreign investments into the mining sector has put structures in place to enhance sustainable natural resource management that results in a win-win situation for Nigerians, communities, partners and investors.
According to him, we have also institutionalized business-friendly incentives to encourage investment in mining.
The incentives as enshrined in the Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act, 2007, include customs and import duties waiver for machinery and equipment imported for mining operations; Tax holidays of three to five years as applicable and free transferability of funds and permission to retain and use earned foreign exchange;
Others include capital allowances of up to 95 per cent of qualifying capital expenditure; Deductibility of environmental costs (money meant for environmental remediation will be tax-free) and 100 per cent ownership of mineral properties.
“Similarly, part of our modest efforts towards achieving the desired aim is repositioning the Mining Cadastre Office to promote transparency in mineral title administration. The processes have been streamlined to enable investors to apply online and obtain licenses and leases within and outside Nigeria.
“From the revenue drive perspective, the Nigerian mining sector has demonstrated a marked improvement despite the challenges of the pandemic. The secret of the sudden jump can be attributed to the introduction of “first come, first serve” and “use it or lose it” in the licensing administration. This has helped to re-organise, eliminate speculators and led to the revocation of about 1,566 mineral titles, activated many dormant licenses and increased revenue inflow into the treasury,” he said.
Adegbite added that the government has made efforts towards harnessing the potential of the sector by strengthening the ease of doing business through the establishment of the investment promotion and mineral trade department with the mandate to serve as a one-stop-shop to assist and support prospective investors in their quest to explore and exploit Nigeria’s mineral resources; Promote the activities of the ministry and the mineral potential of the country; Interface between the MMSD and stakeholders, among others.
“On this note, it is crystal clear that we aim to create a globally competitive sector capable of contributing to wealth creation, jobs creation and the advancement of our social and human security. It is also to create a new culture of sustainable natural resource management that results in a win-win situation for all of us, communities, partners and investors,” he added.
The minister urged those who are still dithering about investing in the Nigerian mining sector to leap, adding that Nigeria still provides one of the highest rates of return on mining investment as its minerals are closer to the surface, conferring the advantage of lower cost of production when compared to other mining jurisdictions.