Senate mulls legislation for artisanal mining to unlock $2bn revenue

The Senate Finance Committee is pushing for reforms in the mining industry to capitalise on the nation’s enormous wealth of solid minerals, which is estimated at more than $2 billion in revenue each year.

“This was corroborated by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development that the solid minerals have the capacity to generate about 2-3 billion US dollars annually,” Sen Sani Musa, the committee’s chairman, said.

Senator Musa said in a statement on Sunday that the mining industry is a hidden resource that has long gone untapped.

He further stated that the committee will focus on empowering the informal sector, representing 80% of the economy.

“We will dedicate our efforts to understanding and nurturing this sector with appropriate legislation with emphasis on formalising artisanal and medium-scale mining activities,” he said.

The Senate Finance Committee, for its part, promised that it would sponsor legislation that would encourage the development of domestic industries and increase foreign investment inflows.

“As Senate Finance Committee, we will fasten our commitment to prudent revenue sourcing, ensuring that every income earned is being accounted for so that our nation’s priorities and development goals can be addressed,” Sen Musa continued.

The committee also pointed out the importance of fiscal discipline and tax transparency for the country’s financial health.

The committee promised to support the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms in its goal of raising N20 trillion from non-oil sources and achieving an 18% tax-to-GDP ratio.

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