“LCCI Urges Overhaul of Nigeria’s Mineral Sector Amidst Declining Performance”

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has expressed deep apprehension regarding the alarming downturn in Nigeria’s solid mineral sector. Recent reports from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveal a concerning trend, with the Mining & Quarrying sector contributing a mere 4.47% to the overall GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023, marking a decline from the previous year and quarter.

 

Dr. Chinyere Almona, FCA, Director-General of LCCI, highlighted a myriad of impediments plaguing the sector, including inadequate infrastructure, regulatory inconsistencies, limited access to financing, and security challenges in mining areas. These barriers have collectively stifled growth, deterred investments, and thwarted the sector’s potential to serve as a catalyst for industrialization.

 

Despite Nigeria’s abundant mineral wealth, the sector remains underdeveloped, contributing less than 0.5% to the GDP and exhibiting minimal value chain integration within the economy. Moreover, solid minerals are exported in raw form, lacking value addition, exacerbating the nation’s economic woes.

 

The LCCI emphasized the urgency for a comprehensive review of the mining industry strategy to attract investments, expedite project development, stimulate new mineral discoveries, and promote sustainable utilization of mineral resources in accordance with Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) principles.

 

Furthermore, the Chamber advocated for addressing funding challenges and facilitating improved access to finance for value-added mineral processing by establishing seed funds and incentives to allure both domestic and foreign investors.

 

The LCCI also proposed revitalizing key entities such as the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) and the Nigerian Iron Ore and Mining Company (NIOMCO), drawing inspiration from successful models like the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) management approach.

 

To bolster investments in the sector, the Chamber underscored the importance of leveraging research and technology to identify additional mineral deposits and provide essential data to potential investors.

 

Drawing parallels with the challenges in the Niger Delta, the LCCI advocated for an inclusive strategy for Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM), integrated with rural development plans and aligned with national strategies. This approach aims to foster job creation in rural areas while promoting sustainable mining practices.

 

The LCCI stressed the importance of providing essential amenities such as electricity, roads, and water to support mining operations and advocated for engagement between mining companies and host communities to establish Community Development MOUs, fostering a sustainable operating environment.

 

The LCCI emphasized that the successful implementation of these proposed measures requires collaborative efforts among government agencies, private sector entities, civil society organizations, and local communities. As committed stakeholders, the LCCI stands prepared to collaborate with all relevant parties to overcome existing challenges and unlock the sector’s latent potential for the nation’s development.


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