In a statement by the minister’s special adviser on media, Segun Tomori, the minister was quoted as saying this during a meeting with his Saudi Arabian counterpart, Bandar AlKhorayef, on the sidelines of the Future Minerals Forum held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, aimed at attracting investments into the country.
The minister emphasized that the government intends to grant tax waivers on imported equipment specifically targeted at the mining sector and ensure full repatriation of profit by investors.
The minister’s assurance comes amid the ongoing issue of illegal mining, particularly in the North East region, despite the ban and strict regulations promised to be enforced by governors.
The affected states are Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe.
Investigations by our correspondent revealed that the illegal miners, predominantly underage boys and girls, pilfer precious stones like gold, sapphire, diamond, copper, lithium, aluminum, and iron, among others.
Experts contend that these illicit activities, connected to insecurity, require robust regulations to enforce compliance with the provision of local consent as outlined in Nigeria’s mining policy.
The statement partly read, “On incentives for investment, President Bola Tinubu has initiated policies on repatriation of profits by foreign investors, tax waivers on imported equipment specifically directed at the mining sector and a rejigged security architecture which he hinted will soon come on stream to effectively secure mining areas in the country.”
Continuing, Dr. Alake harped on the need to forge partnerships, stressing that global energy transition is contingent on critical minerals, which he stated to exist in abundance in Nigeria.
“We need a lot of investments in exploration, exploitation, extraction, processing, and local value addition. We realise that we must look at regions outside of Africa to collaborate, further consolidate, and enhance our capacity to explore and exploit the natural resources that we have. For us to maximally utilise, exploit, and derive maximum revenue for our own economic and infrastructural development, we need to have a very solid partnership with nations like Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Arabia has always displayed good affinity to Nigeria, and it is historical. We have always been desirous of reciprocating this very positive gesture, and there is no better area to ensure that reciprocity than to ensure we consolidate our partnerships in areas of economic development. We are willing and open to investments in Nigeria, especially in the mining sector”, the Minister asserted.