Address challenges in solid minerals to reduce oil dependency, LCCI charges FG

While the policy to regulate the solid minerals sector in Nigeria has potential economic benefits, addressing the associated challenges will be crucial to realising its full potential and ensuring sustainable and inclusive development, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has said. With the decline in the global oil market, diversifying into the solid minerals sector reduces Nigeria’s dependency on oil revenues.

LCCI president, Gabriel Idahosa, said this would help mitigate the impact of oil price fluctuations on the country’s economy and enhance economic stability. “The development of the solid minerals sector is likely to create job opportunities across various stages of exploration, mining, processing and marketing. This can contribute significantly to reducing unemployment and fostering economic growth.

“The effective regulation of this sector can also lead to increased revenue generation for the government through taxes, royalties and other levies, which can then be utilised for infrastructure development, social programs and other public services. By regulating the sector, Nigeria can position itself to participate more effectively in the global market for solid minerals. This can open new opportunities for international trade and partnerships,” he said.

He added that the approval of this policy review allows for better management and utilization of the abundant solid mineral resources in Nigeria; ensuring that the resources are exploited judiciously, efficiently and sustainably, preventing their depletion and ensuring long-term economic benefits.

He added that the successful implementation of the policy may face various challenges, including regulatory hurdles, lack of infrastructure and bureaucratic inefficiencies, which could hinder the policy’s intended benefits. “Unregulated mining activities, even with a policy in place, may pose environmental risks such as deforestation, soil erosion and water pollution. Strict adherence to environmental standards and effective monitoring will be crucial to mitigate these concerns.

The sector may be susceptible to revenue leakages due to corruption, illegal mining practices and inadequate monitoring mechanisms. This could undermine the government’s efforts to maximize revenue from the solid minerals sector. Mining activities may lead to the displacement of local communities and without proper resettlement plans and community engagement, can result in social unrest and conflicts,” he said.

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