FG switches focus to mining, as it awards licenses

Nigeria’s Minister for Mining and Steel Development, Mr Abubakar Bawa Bwari, today in London disclosed that the Federal Government has given mining contracts to ten exploration and consulting firms.

This is part of the Government’s efforts to develop the solid minerals sector whilst diversifying the economy, the Minister told Reuters.

According to him, it is the Government’s intention to partner with the private sector through various incentives, for the purpose of developing the mining sector.

He also specifically noted that the Government has committed some $100 intervention fund to the mining and exploration sub sector, “apart from the normal budgetary allocation.”

Meanwhile, the names of the mining companies that were just awarded contracts were not disclosed, even as Mr Bwari made no mention of how the contracts are worth in terms of monetary value.

But the Minister who is currently attending the Mines and Money Conference in the British capital, did hint in July that eight companies would receive mining contracts valued at N12.7 billion.

“Recently we gave a contract to four exploration companies, with six consulting firms to explore our mineral resources focusing on gold, zinc, iron ore, rare earth metals.” -Bwari

More on the nature of the contracts

The newly contracted firms will receive a three-to-five-year tax holiday, as well as duty and tax exemption for the importation of all the equipment they will need in the course of their operations.

The companies will also be able to exercise full ownership of their ventures, and can repatriate profits out of Nigeria if they so please.

Meantime, the World Bank is committed to building Nigeria’s mining sector

Minister Bwari further disclosed that the World Bank has so far demonstrated interest in the development of Nigeria’s mining industry. The bank had earlier in April agreed to lend Nigeria the sum of $150 for the purpose of developing the sector. And then just a few weeks ago, some delegates from the bank were in Nigeria to deliberate on the entailment of the loan deal.
Source: Nairametrics
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