AFRICANGLOBE – The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has disclosed that some Chinese and Indian companies are involved in unauthorised mining of the country’s solid minerals.
A report by Nigerian newspaper, ThisDay, quotes the Chairman of the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) of NEITI, Mr. Ledum Mitee saying illegal miners pay “local artisans and government authorities… ridiculously low rates and export to make extreme profits.”
He added that NEITI will soon provide necessary information to enforcement agencies for the investigation and arrest of the illegal miners.
Mitee stated this at the presentation of the inaugural audit report on Nigeria’s solid mineral sector, which was commissioned and released weekend in Abuja.
He also disclosed that the information gathered from scoping studies that were conducted earlier in the sector, revealed discrepancies in government receipts and operating companies’ payments within the periods. According to him, the Nigerian government generated 54.5 billion naira ($330,000) from 2007 to 2010 as revenue from solid mineral mining companies, through payments of royalties, ground rents/annual surface rents, taxation and levies.
According to the report, Mitee explained that the activities of artisanal miners were actually not captured in the audit, considering their somewhat mode of operation, which proved quite challenging in garnering whatever payments received by the government from them.
“It is NEITI’s firm belief that the time for Nigeria to fully embrace the development of the solid minerals sector of the extractive industry is now, we successfully undertook a scoping study in the solid minerals sector which confirms that all notable minerals are available in commercial quantity in all states, local government and communities in Nigeria starting from gold, bitumen, diamond, salt, coal, iron ore, limestone, lead and zinc and the country can benefit in revenue from them,” Mitee said.