Nigeria has lost over N4 billion to faulty royalty payments in the solid minerals sector.
This is part of the key findings in the just released solid minerals sector report for the period 2007-2010 by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
In the report, NEITI said the benchmark used for the calculation of royalty payments are not the current market value in the solid minerals sector.
According NEITI’s report, the amount used for the calculations of royalty payment for all mineral deposits are long overdue for review.
The area of concern in the sector as highlighted in the report is the monopoly of construction companies in quarry sites and cement manufacturing.
The report also blamed the leakage of royalty payment on the lack of synergy among the federal and state mining departments allowing illegal mining to flourish.
A summation of NEITI’s three audit reports of the oil and gas sector from the period of 1999-2008 showed a total loss of $2.6 billion due to lapses in the system.
According to the Chairman of NEITI, Ledum Mitee, this fresh report on the solid minerals sector is another call to action.
Experts worry that the billions of naira leaking through the system due to mismanagement, is sufficient to address some the people’s basic amenity needs.