dv064031Importation of equipment for mining of mineral deposits in the country is now duty free, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Musa Sada, has said.

Sada said this at the Ministerial Platform, which featured his ministry in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said it was one of the steps the Federal Government had taken to encourage exploitation of mineral resources in an effort to buoy and diversify the economic base of the nation.

Sada said any company that wished to benefit from the duty exemption must present valid mining lease issued by the ministry and write a letter, which the ministry would forward to the Ministry of Finance for processing.

The minister said such companies should make a distinction between mining and exploration as the exemption was for mining equipment and not all activities in the solid minerals sector.

Listing the achievements of the Federal Government in the sector in the last one year, Sada said the ministry had facilitated the development of a new coal mine, the Eta-Zuma Coal Mine, thereby bringing the number of large coal mines in the country to two.

Similarly, it facilitated the creation of 1,254,200 rural-based jobs arising from operations in 1,710 quarries, 223 small-scale mining operations, 195 mining leases, 845 cooperatives and 2,048 exploration licences.

He said, “Zuma 828 Coal Limited engages in the exploration and mining of coal. The company holds mining leases covering coal in Okobo area of Kogi State.

“Zuma 828 has started mining, crushing and sale of coal to cement companies in Nigeria for heating kilns in cement production plants. Zuma is one of the two mines in Nigeria producing coal.”

According to the minister, the minerals sector recorded an increase in revenue generation that resulted in increased contribution to the Federation Account during the period under review.

However, he could not indicate how much the sector contributed to the Federation Account or by what percentage the revenue increased.

Sada listed the challenges facing the sector to include inadequate funding, low level of geo-science information for investment, inadequate skilled manpower and lack of adequate mines special purpose surveillance equipment for field work and revenue collection and monitoring.


Information from Punch was used in this report.