Nigeria Earns N193.59billion from Solid Minerals – NEITI
By Obiabin Onukwugha
Nigeria earned a total sum of N193.59 billion from the solid minerals sector in 2021.
This information is contained in the latest oil and gas report by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
NEITI, in the report prepared by Amedu Onekpe and Co Chartered Accountants, an indigenous firm said total unremitted revenues to the federation by some relevant government agencies and companies in the oil and gas sector in the year 2021 rose to $9.85 billion.
It said the sector contributed N814.59 Billion in 15 years, with 2021 earnings of N7.94billion, which is the highest, distributed to the federating units from the Solid Minerals Revenue Account.
It said in June 2021, N7.94 Billion was distributed to the three tiers of government from that account based on the mineral revenue sharing formula, with a balance of N5.67Billion left in the account as at 31st December 2021.
The Federal government got N3.64Billion, states N1.85Billion while local government councils got N1.42Billion, while 13% derivation share was N1.03 Billion.
According to the report, the figure shows an increase of ₦60.32 billion or 51.89% growth, when compared to the 2020 revenue flows of ₦116.82 billion.
NEITI said companies outstanding liabilities to government stood at N1.06 Billion, during the period under review.
The report further identified a total sum of N1.06 Billion as outstanding company liability to government within the period under review saying the liability was as a result of the failure of some of the companies to pay their annual service fees for the respective mineral title fee, which is a statutory payment by mineral title holders for each cadastral unit on mineral titles.
It further stated that the positive trend reflects a continuation of the upward positive trajectory observed in the sector over the past five years.
Presenting the report Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji stated that the 2021 Solid Minerals report reviewed, ascertained, reconciled and reported all revenues and investment flows to and from Government in the solid minerals sector.
Orji said: “The report which is NEITI’s 12th, covered actual payments by 1,214 companies operating in the sector and receipts by three government agencies, the quantities of minerals that they produced, utilized and exported from the sector, reconciled the physical/financial transactions and undertook special verification on some processes.”
NEITI said the report also covered balances payable/receivable from financial inflows, tracked the funds and utilisation meant for the development of solid minerals in Nigeria.
The report indicated that funds covered included Natural Resources Development Fund, Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF), Ministry of Mines and Steel Development’s (MMSD) MinDiver Programme and Solid Minerals Development Funds under the Small and Medium Industries Equity Investment Scheme (SMIEIS) operated through the Bank of Industry- BOI, the emerging issues of beneficial ownership and contract transparency.
NEITI also noted that there were increases in the number of licenses issued within the period. “A total of 2,045 licenses were issued with exploration licenses accounting for 840 (increase of 62.79%), Small Scale Mining Lease (SSML) 771, Quarry Lease 255, Reconnaissance Permit 139 and Mining leases 40.
“On Export, the total minerals exported in 2021 was 142.54 million tons with a Free on Board (FOB) value of $101.29 million, showing an increase of 138.57% from the $42.46 million reported in 2020.
“However, the solid minerals contribution to export value in 2021 was a mere 0.24%. The First Patriot Nigeria Limited based in Ebonyi state accounted for 44.26% of the total export value. China was identified as the principal destination of Nigeria’s mineral exports, accounting for 97% and 88% of the export volume and value. Other destinations for Nigeria’s minerals include Malaysia, Korea, Thailand UAE etc in that order”, the report read in part.
On solid minerals contribution to the economy, the NEITI report revealed that the solid minerals sector contributed 0.63% to GDP, while there has been some improvement compared to previous years where it contributed 0.45% in 2020 and 0.26% in 2019, but quickly pointed out that the sector has not yet reached its full potential in making a significant impact on the overall Nigerian economy.
“The seven (7) strategic minerals in the sector contributed a total of ₦1.42 billion in royalty payments, with limestone being the dominant contributor at ₦1.03 billion (73.07%)”, it said.
The report also noted that Solid minerals export facilitates international trade and stimulated domestic economic activities by creating employment, enhancing production and increasing revenue generation and harped on the need for it to be encouraged.
NEITI expressed optimism that the commencement of full operations at the Dangote cement plant in Okpella, Edo State, royalty revenue from limestone would definitely increase and therefore called on the government through the MMSD, to urgently review the solid minerals roadmap and align it with current market realities, implement sustainable strategies to boost revenue from other strategic minerals and reduce reliance on single minerals like limestone.
According to the NEITI report, while there was 85% increase in the number of artisanal miners operators, from 1,273 in 2020 to 2,336 in 2021 across the 6 geo-political zones of the country, there are no commensurate data in the areas of production, royalty payments, exports, etc. to support this increase in operators.
Orji, therefore, used the opportunity to appeal to state and non-state actors to take seriously the contents of the NEITI reports and play their expected roles in the EITI/NEITI process.
According to him “The civil society and media play very important roles in the EITI process, particularly, in the areas of dissemination, campaigns and advocacy on the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report and support the translation of the contents of the NEITI reports to visible impacts in the lives of all Nigerians”, he stated.
One of the success stories of NEITI in Nigeria’s solid minerals sector is the opening of the Solid Minerals Revenue Account.