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Solid minerals exporters owe Nigerian government N17 billion unpaid royalty

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Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, on Monday lamented that exporters of solid minerals owe Federal Government N17 billion in unpaid royalty.

At a stakeholders’ consultative forum in Abuja to review the draft mineral exports’ guidelines, Adegbite disclosed that most of the solid minerals exports were made without valid permit from the ministry.

He noted that between 2013 and 2017, 2,670 mineral exports were made but only 56 got the permit.

He, however, expressed his conviction that the implementation of the guidelines would go a long way to bring sanity to the solid mineral extractive industry, and further informed direct investors’ decision.

The guidelines are in five segments with 11 steps, which include: Documentation and source; pre-shipment inspection; exit point document; shipment; and sanctions.

The proposed document, according to Adegbite, would reduce the usual time for an export cycle from an uncertain current timeframe to 26 working days.

Of these, the processing of exit point documentation and shipment will take five and three working days respectively, as desired by PEBEC.

He called on the stakeholders to acquaint themselves with the provisions of the guidelines and take advantage of the environment created by it to foster their businesses.

Also in a keynote address, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said government was in a hurry to improve procedures, documentation and regulations in the Nigerian solid mineral sector.

She said the policy had become more urgent in view of the present global economic challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as volatility of global oil prices which is the country’s main foreign exchange earner.

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