Abuja — The federal government has disclosed its willingness to give incentives to mining companies by lowering export levies for firms that are ready to commit to developing, processing, refining facilities and give licencing support to any investors who meet its mineral downstream criteria.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilenka Adegbite, disclosed this during his opening speech at the first ever downstream mineral value chain policy workshop, in Abuja.
According to him, "We are witnessing increasing efforts to promote responsible management of mineral supply value chains at the global level through impactful public-private platforms.
"This is why the ministry has spearheaded this policy initiative in collaboration with the Lagos Business School (LBS) and the Mineral sector support for economic diversification (MINDIVER)."
He said no doubt, that the mineral downstream holds great opportunities for entrepreneurs from other sectors to participate in the mining value chain.
To this end, he promised to change the narrative by enacting policies to help develop the downstream industries that add value to mineral resources, such as beneficiation, smelting and refining in the country.
Adegbite, explained that the county's past experience in the development of tin ore and coal value chain by the establishment of the defunct Makeri Smelting Company and Nigerian Coal Corporation with attendant infrastructural and employment generation coupled with the current exploit in limestone exploitation for cement manufacturing are great pointers that the country's downstream mineral development was a possibility and could be sustained if deliberate policies are enacted and implemented.
He said the bad mining deals that had plagued the nation in the past, especially as it relates to the legal logjam bedeviling the Ajaokuta Steel Company and others would be resolved by the enactment and enforcement of good policies and legislations to sustainable development of our various minerals downstream initiatives.
According to him, for too long, Nigeria had been unwittingly exporting wealth and employment, by not adding value to our mineral sectors.
"That mineral supply chains are essential to everyday life, from the technology, smartphones and computers, to the cars and even the homes we live in.
"They are also crucial in the ministry's efforts to promote a more sustainable and inclusive growth.
"We are therefore taking a hard look at the potential for downstream processes to benefit from these enviable mineral resources.
"I expect a draft of clear policies that are implementable and enforceable at the end of this workshop.
"We are willing to give good incentives of lowering export levies for mining companies that are willing to commit to developing processing and refining facilities and give licensing supports to any investors who meet our mineral downstream criteria," Adegbite said.