The Federal Government, on Wednesday, said it had begun the move to end the exportation of raw minerals in Nigeria to diversify the economy, job creation and industrialization of the country.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, disclosed this while briefing journalists in Abuja, he lamented that Nigeria is still exporting crude oil as traded for refined petroleum products.
He said the state would take advantage of the abundant solid minerals in their area to improve its revenue generation.
He said: “As we started this policy and this regulation essentially what we’re saying is we do not want to be exported from Nigeria. There are instances of this. We have Kaolin in Nigeria. Kaolin is something that is mined from the ground.
“What is the normal is that miners who export Kaolin abroad then the end users in Nigeria, that is the pharmaceutical the cosmetic industry, the paint industry, they now import this semi process Kaolin for their own use in their factory.
“We also in the process, export our jobs out there, and we lose a lot of value. So if we’re able to have the value locally, we’ll keep the jobs we create worldwide people, which is what this policy is all about.
“What is happening to miners who export in the raw holes. When you export something in a container for 50 tonnes when it gets to China, there will say is 10 tonnes and you can’t argue.
“We got the final approval. So the regulation is now official. We will discourage anybody from exporting out of Nigeria. Through these, we are also creating a new line of business for people who don’t know what to mine. They can be processed and look as if people are mining in their area, All you need to do is bring your processing plan to that place”.
The minister further noted that there is a downstream policy in place that will prevent the exportation of raw minerals.
According to the ministry regulation, “safe exploitation of solid mineral in an environmentally sustainable. The promotion of an efficient regulatory environment to strengthen the ease of doing business with simpler, transparent and time-bound procedures for obtaining clearances. The promotion of regulatory mechanisms with high penetration of e-governance systems to prevent illegal mining and value leakages.
“The promotion of employment generation, thus, there shall be a keen focus on harnessing the current crude ore production export of about 70million metric tons by artisanal miners, by ensuring value addition locally prior to export at all levels to fulfil the objectives of this policy.
“The traceability and accountability of solid mineral production by only authorized processors to substantially curb the insecurities within this sector. The strategy seeks to advance development through the optimization of linkages in the mineral value chain, facilitation of economic diversification, job creation and industrialization.
“The strategic promotion to expedite progress towards a knowledge-based economy and contribute to incremental GDP growth in mineral value addition per capita in line with the national economic policies.
“The promotion of mineral processing plants across the country (which is currently almost non-existence) by big local and international investors and curb the menace associated with resource-rich developing countries, that rather export raw materials instead of processing, thereby adding value that are several times the cost of the mineral”.