The Federal Government has frowned at the poor contribution of the solid minerals sector to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product and revenue generation, as it revealed that oil and gas earnings surpassed revenues from solid minerals by over $392.6bn.
Nigeria’s solid minerals sector and its oil and gas industry are both extractive sectors from where the country generates revenue, being a natural resource-rich nation.
But figures obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Friday from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, an agency of the Federal Government, showed that the solid minerals sector generated about $1.4bn (N624.6bn at the current official exchange rate) in 13 years for the country.
Whereas the oil and gas sector, a sister extractive industry, generated $394bn in 10 years, surpassing the 13 years revenue figures of the solid minerals sector by $392.6bn.
In its just-released Strategic Plan 2022 – 2026, NEITI stated that it would now focus on the solid minerals sector, stressing that if the industry was thrown open to investments, it had the potential of contributing over 60 per cent to the nation’s GDP, rather than its current palty 1.8 per cent contribution.
Figures from NEITI’s latest strategic plan showed that Nigeria earned N7.6bn, N10.6bn, N19.2bn, N17.1bn and N27bn in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively from solid minerals.
Data from the document indicated that in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 the country raked in N25.6, N30.3bn, N49.2bn, N64.5bn and N43.2bn respectively from the solid minerals sector.
NEITI further stated that Nigeria garnered N52.8bn, N69.5bn, N80bn and N128bn from solid minerals in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively.
But it expressed displeasure over the output from the sector, describing it as poor, adding that findings by NEITI showed that the solid minerals industry had good revenue-generating potential.
“We are very displeased that the solid minerals sector currently contributes a little over 1.8 per cent to Nigeria’s GDP. This is an enormous sector that can grow the economy more than oil,” the Executive Secretary, NEITI, Ogbonnaya Orji, stated while speaking on the agency’s new strategic plan.
He added, “Our projection is that if the solid mineral sector is thrown open for investment, it has the potential to contribute over 60 per cent to the nation’s GDP. At 60 per cent to Nigeria’s GDP would mean outperforming oil.
“This is our target. We have done an extensive scoping study and seen the potential of the solid minerals sector. We have already identified six strategic minerals for focus, including gold and others. NEITI’s next major focus would be on the development of these strategic minerals.”