The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite has called on mining companies to integrate the community into their operations, in a bid to foster good relations among stakeholders.
The minister who was on a facility tour of Multiverse Mining and Exploration Company’s Mines in Nasarawa, also enjoined the community youths at the mining location to take whatever opportunities the company offered, admonishing them to be hardworking and to shun criminal activities.
Adegbite in the last one month has been on a tour of several mining and steel companies across the country to lend support to them and to inspect the level of work going on in such, as the sector has been given the mandate to diversify the economy, generate revenue for the government and to create jobs.
Some of the incentives include a waiver on Customs and import duties for plant, machinery and equipment imported for mining operations. Tax holidays of between three to five years for businesses as applicable.
Others include free transferability of funds and permission to retain and use earned foreign exchange. Capital allowances of up to 95% of qualifying capital expenditure. Deductibility of Environmental Costs (money meant for environmental remediation will be tax-free) and 100% ownership of mineral properties.
The Executive Director Multiverse Nigeria Limited, Ayo Oluwasusi, earlier in his address said the company has employed over 400 Nigerians, 95 of which he said, are from the host community. He also revealed that the company had invested about 50 million dollars in the sector.
He said the company has ensured compliant with mining laws and has never defaulted in royalty payments to Federal Government as well as levies to the community. He added that the Company is prioritizing the transfer of technology to Nigerians.
Multiverse Nigeria Limited mines lead and zinc in Nasarawa State and are the only mining company quoted in Nigeria Stock by Exchange.
Recently during his tour of Premium Steel and Mines Limited, Warri Delta State, the Minister said that the nation’s Steel industry when fully developed would drive Job growth in the economy, while he rallied the nation’s steel producers to go into the production of a flat sheet which is vital for the development of the sector. The minister said ‘For the nation to industrialise, we need to produce flat sheet, which is the ultimate goal of the sector. With flat sheet we can produce many things like engine blocks, vehicle bodies etc’
Adegbite also rallied the steel producer to support the metallurgical Industry bill. Adegbite noted that the bill when enacted into law would assist in establishing programmes that would aid the private sector to operate optimally, producing competitive high-quality products for both local and international market.
“It will make it a lot easier for you to operate. We would have been empowered by the law to support you. The support we give will have the backing of the law.’
Meanwhile during his facility tour of Segilola Gold Project, in Osun State the Minister said that the federal government is poised to support mining company to grow the economy and to create jobs for its citizens.
“We want to make Nigeria a major gold producing hub in Africa and this is why the administration of President Buhari has given so much support to this sector to ensure that we diversify our economy away from oil, ‘ he said.
Segilola is expected to begin gold production second quarter of 2021, aiming to produce an average of 80,000 ounces of gold per year for the lifetime of the mine. The project is expected to create 500 direct jobs and 1100 indirect jobs.
News Source: guardian.ng