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Leading industrialist and President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has called on the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development to consider the establishment of mineral buying centres and lapidaries to boost investments in the sector.
In his presentation at the just concluded Kogi State Economic Summit in Lokoja, he said the absence of solid mineral buying centres and lapidaries had enabled the flourishing of cartels who engage in illegal sale of minerals out of the country, with resultant loss of solid minerals revenue from taxes and royalties.
However, only two weeks ago, the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi revealed the plans of the government to set up Solid Minerals Commission so as to serve as the pivot for strategic development in the industry.
Business Hilights gathered that part of the reasons why Ghana solid minerals sector is growing exponentially is due to the presence of a Commission that regulates and oversees activities of investors and miners. The drive of the Commission has reduced to the barest minimum, activities of illegal miners which had been the bane of Nigeria’s solid minerals development over the years.
Dangote, represented at the summit by Engr. Joseph Makoju, the Acting Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement Plc, said as a matter of urgency, the government should establish various mineral buying centres and lapidaries across the relevant zones in the country as such step would encourage the artisanal miners to sell minerals in-country, and production could be monitored for taxes and royalty collection.
According to him, “Each state of the federation should be encouraged to invest in domiciled solid minerals either as sole investor or in collaboration with private investors, with revenues accruing entirely to the state, and taxes and royalties accruing to the Federal Government”.
Dangote averred that “Nigeria ought to be reaping more from her mineral deposits than currently doing, while noting that significant evidence showed that Nigeria had over 34 different solid minerals distributed in the country’s richly endowed geology”.