LCCI Blames Poor Infrastructure, Inconsistent Policies For Mining Industry’s Woes


BY CHINYERE OBIORA, LAGOS – The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has listed inadequate infrastructure, regulatory inconsistencies, limited access to financing, and security concerns among the many obstacles inhibiting the development and growth of Nigeria’s mining industry.

According to the Chamber, despite its immense potential, the sector faces huge regulatory and legal challenges that make it difficult for the country to derive inherent benefits for sustainable economic development.

These challenges also include inconsistent policies, unclear land tenures, and contentions between Federal and State Governments, particularly in the collection of royalties and taxes from licensed miners operating in their domains

Director General and Chief Executive Officer of LCCI, Dr Chinyere Almona, who stated this while addressing issues around the Mining sector decline in Nigeria, said the country must be ready to tackle all existing challenges in mineral beneficiation and value addition if it intends to capitalize on the huge mining sector’s potential.

Dr Almona noted that these problems have collectively contributed to stifling growth, deterring investments, and impeding the sector’s ability to fulfill its role as a catalyst for industrialization, adding that the Nigerian mining industry has unfortunately recorded low performance in the last two quarters.

DG, LCCI, Dr Chinyere Almona

She said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report showed that the Mining and Quarrying sector contributed 4.47 percent to the overall GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023, lower than the contributions recorded in 2022 fourth quarter at 4.51 percent and lower than the previous quarter at 8.32 percent.

The LCCI boss urged the Federal Government to review the mining industry strategy to attract mineral exploration investments, reignite mining project development, accelerate new mineral discoveries, and encourage optimal utilization of Nigerian mineral resources in line with the Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) principles for sustainable growth.

She also said the government must address the sector’s funding issues and enable enhanced access to finance for processing value-added minerals-based products by establishing seed funds and special incentives to attract foreign and domestic investors.

Additionally, Dr Almona said the Government should seek innovative ways of revitalizing the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) and the Nigerian Iron Ore andMining Company (NIOMCO), stressing that the model of the NLNG management can be adopted for this purpose.

For her, as a way of ramping up investments in the sector, stakeholders should be ready to deploy more relevant research and technology to trace more mineral deposits, and ensure the availability of adequate relevant data for investors.

Challenging the government and relevant stakeholders to learn from the present experiences in the Niger Delta in the failure to allow small scale crude refineries to operate under set supervision and standards, the Chamber Chief Executive said for the solid minerals sector, we should adopt an inclusive a strategy on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) aligned with development plans at all levels of government and linked to other national rural sector strategies.

Such focused arrangement, according to her, will make the solid minerals sector more integrated with other activities that generate jobs in rural areas, adding; “We need to support the mining ecosystem with amenities like electricity, good roads, and water while Mining companies should be engaged to sign Community Development MOUs with the host communities that will help to create a sustainable operating environment.

“If effectively implemented, these proposed measures can revitalize Nigeria’s mining sector and position it as a critical driver of economic growth and development. She however, said that their successful execution requires concerted efforts and collaboration among government agencies, private sector entities, civil society organizations, and local communities.”

She further submitted that; “As stakeholders committed to advancing Nigeria’s mining industry, we stand ready to collaborate with all relevant stakeholders to overcome the existing challenges and unleash the sector’s latent potential for its contribution to our nation’s development”.

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