Nigeria’s minerals and mining sector is still largely underdeveloped despite its glorious past and abundance of mineral resources for development, including high-value metallic minerals, industrial minerals, and energy minerals.
In 2015, the sector contributed approximately 0.33% to the gross domestic product of the country. This contribution is a reversal from the historically higher percentages (about 4-5% in the 1960s-70s). However, following a decade of reforms starting in 1999, this contribution represents a cautiously optimistic restart of the development of the sector. The decade of reform saw key changes including, the passage of a new Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act (2007), a Nigerian Mineral and Metals Policy (2008), the creation of a modern Mining Cadastre system, the refinement of the tax code, and the expansion in airborne mapping of the country to sharpen knowledge of the mineral endowments. As important as these progress steps have been, Nigeria can and should do more. The sector faces several challenges with geosciences data and information, Industry participants, Stakeholders, Institutions, Governance and other enablers of the sector.
|Barrier Type||Severity||Summary of Constraints/Challenges|
|Geosciences data and information||Moderate to High||Nigeria, despite recent progress, has a weak mechanism for gathering, disseminating and archiving critical geological data required by investors and policy makers|
|Industry Participants||Moderate to High||Operators across mining value chain face a range of challenges from insufficient infrastructure to policy uncertainty that together constrain investor confidence|
|Stakeholders||Moderate||Decline of industry reduced the focus and leverage of key stakeholders, hence flows into the sector e.g. resources, talent and partnerships declined|
|Institutions and Governance||Moderate||Ministry’s organisational design and regulatory agencies mix needs to be refined to ensure clear enforcement of its rules and separation of powers between the states and the Federal Government strictly enforced|
|Key Enablers||Moderate to High||Ancillary requirements for the proper functioning of the minerals and mining ecosystem such as talented labour, infrastructure – e.g. railroad, competitive financing systems, mine and asset security, and related support services – are missing|
In addition to these challenges listed, one of the most critical factors towards creating an enabling environment for exploration and mining is investor perception. Undue interference by communities and state governments, with expectations outside the provisions of the law/regulations cripple investments and the development of the mining sector. Uncertainty and inconsistency in state and federal laws, interpretation and enforcement will hamper development. The perception of a change of regime affecting laws also stalls investment and partnership. Fiscal policies that remain stable and predictable in the face of changing regimes improves transparency and fosters good governance within the sector. We address the need for strong communication strategies between the nation and the international community and between all stakeholders as one of the solutions towards benefits sharing, agreeable and accountable development of the minerals and mining sector.
Based on an evaluation of the long-term opportunities that can be unlocked if additional transformation is embarked upon, the Committee believes that mining can deliver the jobs, prosperity and additional revenue for the country.