By Olivia Isibor (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – According to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, only 56 of the 2,670 mineral exports made from Nigeria between January 2013 and June 2017 were legally executed through valid mineral export permits, which translates to a total of 2,614 unlicensed mineral exports during the review period.
Adegbite made this revelation in Abuja while making his remarks at stakeholders’ consultative forum on the draft mineral export guidelines, procedures and documentation requirements, where he was represented by the Permanent Secretaty in his ministry, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade
According to Adegbite, between 2013 and 2017, unpaid royalties amounting to over N17.12 billion are still outstanding to the federal government, which he said prompted the putting together of the proposed guidelines.
He lamented that the absence of a handbook for standardised solid minerals export has also occasioned a situation where prices in the local mineral market are almost at par with international price benchmarks, adding that this impedes ease of business for genuine exporters, as attaining reasonable margins become impossible.
The minister noted that local prices are high because most of the exports are carried out for money laundering purposes, where profit margins are not the necessary incentives.
He said: “We must note that while prices of other commodities may vary greatly with different traders and manufacturers, the mineral sector (liquid or solid) is controlled by international price indices that guide trading.”