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Corruption and Illicit Mining Plague Nigeria Mining Sector

Corruption and Illicit Mining Plague Nigeria Mining Sector

Nigerian Mining Sector Grapples with Corruption and Illegal Excavations

In Nigeria, the mining sector’s underperformance has become a pressing concern, with corruption and illegal mining activities taking center stage. Stakeholders convened in Abuja to address these challenges and explore potential solutions.

Despite Nigeria’s vast reserves of gold and solid minerals, a recent report from the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) revealed that the sector only contributed N193.59 billion to the nation’s revenue in 2021, with N177.44 billion directed to the federation account. This represents a mere 0.63 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

While there was some growth compared to the previous year, with a revenue increase of N60.32 billion or 51.89 percent, it remains far below its true potential.

George Akume, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, stressed the government’s commitment to eradicating corruption within the extractive industry. He urged all industry companies to adhere to mandatory data submissions, ensuring full compliance with Nigeria’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) process.

Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, emphasized the meticulous review and reporting conducted in the 2021 solid minerals report. This comprehensive assessment covered payments by 1,214 sector companies, government agency receipts, mineral quantities produced, utilized, and exported, along with thorough reconciliation of physical and financial transactions.

The report also addressed financial balances and tracked funds designated for the development of solid minerals, including various funds operated through the Bank of Industry.

Notably, the report highlighted the consistent year-on-year increase in revenue from the solid minerals sector over the past 15 years. However, its contribution to total government revenue remains disconcertingly low, representing a mere 2.6 percent of the N6.62 trillion total government revenue in 2021.

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These findings underscore the urgent need for comprehensive reforms and strategies to unlock the immense potential of Nigeria’s mining sector, while simultaneously addressing the persistent issues of corruption and illegal mining activities.

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