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RMAFC PLEDGES MORE FUNDING FOR THE SOLID MINERALS SECTOR

The Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has pledged more funding for the development of the solid minerals sub sector of the Nigerian economy so as to make it more viable and serve as alternative source of revenue for the nation.

The Chairman of the Commission, Elias Mbam made this pledge today in Abuja when he received a high-powered delegation from the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development led by the Minister, Arc. Musa Mohammed Sada.

Mbam observed that for the Sector to perform optimally in line with global best practices, it requires more funding windows in form of a long term finance to reduce over reliance on the annual budgetary provisions and increase the quantum of revenue into the Federation Account. He explains that under the current Revenue Allocation Formula, the Solid Minerals Sector is a beneficiary of the 1.6 percent of all distributable revenue from the Federation Account as provided in the Natural Resources Development Fund.

The Chairman also assured the delegation that the Commission is committed to attracting more funding for the Sector in view of its overriding importance as a revenue earner through the enthronement of a viable fiscal policy regime that will place the Sector at par with other revenue generating agencies like the Custom Service and the FIRS who collect 7 percent and 4 percent respectively from total revenues collected.

Speaking earlier, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development Arc. Musa Sada who was accompanied by Dauda Kigbu, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry and other Directors decried the poor revenue-generating capacity of the Solid Minerals Sector  where at the moment Government does not collect up to 20 percent due to the series of weaknesses inherent in the Sector.

However, Sada expressed optimism that the hitherto moribund sector will soon be restored to its past glory as the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has identified the Solid minerals sector as one of the very strong and strategic tool of its Transformation Agenda to improve local content, value addition and import substitution for required raw materials so as to significantly improve the national economy. He adds that the on-going reforms in the sector has attracted the attention of the World Bank reform activities with the sole aim of making the Sector private-sector driven in line with global best practices to allow private investors to do business in the sector within the established standards.

To this end, the Minister stressed that “The World Bank has comprehensively carried out institutional reforms which include strengthening legal and regulatory frameworks and fiscal governance to enhance the revenue generation capacity and governance of mining institutions in Nigeria”.

Sada further disclosed that after the World Bank exit, the Federal Government was spurred to do more noting that hitherto, Nigeria blessed with huge limestone deposit was only producing 2 million metric tones of cement, but with reforms, the production figure has risen to 30 million metric tones making the country an exporter of cement.

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