Gaidam Wants Review Of Legal Framework In Nigeria’s Mining Sector

Ibrahim Gaidam, Mining SectorYobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, has called for a review of the legal structure for Nigeria’s mining sector.

Governor Gaidam also asked the Federal Government to take decisive steps against the upsurge in the exploitation of the available mineral resources in the country.

He made the call on Wednesday in a meeting with a team from the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) at the Government House in Damaturu, the state’s capital.

The RMAFC is saddled with the responsibility of monitoring exercise on royalties’ collection and activities of miners across Nigeria.

The governor was confident that the RMAFC would make a strong case towards removing the restrictions placed on states and local governments on direct involvement in the solid mineral development sub-sector.

Accelerated Exploration And Exploitation

“I wish to advocate for urgent review of the legal framework in respect of the mining sector to clearly define the roles of the states, local governments and communities blessed with solid mineral potential.

“The Federal Government should also take decisive steps towards accelerated exploration and exploitation of the solid minerals that are in Nigeria, particularly in states like our own.

“This will also enable us benefit from the 13% derivation from the revenue from solid minerals that we have been blessed with,” Gaidam said.

In his response, the leader of the delegation, Mr Yakubu Tuktur, said they were in Yobe State to monitor revenue accruable from the solid mineral sector and the activities of miners among others.

He advised the state government to establish a solid mineral selling point, in order to benefit from the revenue from the sector.

Mr Tuktur also expressed confidence that the present administration would succeed in diversifying Nigeria’s economy.

“As you can see, the present administration is committed to diversifying the nation’s economy instead of over relying on oil.

“The government wants to concentrate on solid minerals development (and) agriculture among others, but this team is purely on solid mineral development,” he stated.

Labour Union Kicks Against Proposed Sale Of Some National Assess

Issa Aremu on sale of National AssetsA National Executive member of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Issa Aremu, has kicked against the plan by the Federal Government to sell some national assets to finance the country out of economic recession.

Mr Aremu, in a press statement on Monday, cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari against what he called “feverish prescriptions of few economic hit men”.

He claimed that the ‘hit men’, contrary to the spirit and content of the 1999 constitution, deliberately undermine national development through recommendations that would strip the nation of its critical assets.

The labour leader argued that Nigeria was not short of resources, but only lacked “genuine resourceful leaders at all levels that were committed to nation building.

Mr Aremu pointed out that the country would further slide into underdevelopment if the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Company which paid the sum of $1.289 billion as dividends for 2013 was sold to the highest bidder for another easy money.

He also commended the economic patriotism of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) for rising in defence of retention of critical national assets such as NLNG.

While calling on the nation’s ruling and economic elite to enunciate big development plans and think outside the box of easy monies to spend, Mr Aremu, however, advocated a bipartisan approach on the economy to include labour and industry.

A leading union of oil workers had on Sunday threatened to shut down the country if the Federal Government carries out the plan to sell some national assets as a way out of the current economic recession.

The oil workers under the aegis of The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), described the plan to sell the national assets as a self-destructive move.

In a statement, PENGASSAN said that the plan, which would solve short term financial obligations, was really aimed at handing over Nigeria’s collective common wealth to a few individuals.

Fiscal Stimulus Plan

On Saturday, Nigeria’s Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, said that the primary objective of government’s fiscal stimulus plan was not to sell off all major critical national assets but to source immediate funds to reflate the economy and implement capital projects in the 2016 budget.

Senator Udoma gave the explanation in Lagos while briefing reporters on the forthcoming Nigerian Economic Summit.

He said the intention of the government was just to get enough money to fund the 2016 budget and get the economy back on the path of recovery.

According to him,  the government needed to inject a large dose of funds into the system to get the economy back on track and to faithfully implement the provisions in the capital budget tailored at reflating the economy and aiding the diversification process.

Senator Udoma further explained that Nigeria had lost almost half its expected revenue and would need to urgently source for the shortfall to enable the government faithfully implement the budget.

“This unfortunate scenario prompted the Economic Management Team to urgently work out a fiscal stimulus plan to generate immediate large injection of funds into the economy through asset sales, advance payment for license rounds, infrastructure concessioning, use of recovered funds, among others, to reduce the funding gap.

“The other option would have been to source for additional loans, beyond the level of borrowing already projected for in the 2016 Budget.

“This would not be a wise option as it would raise the level of debt service to an unsustainable level.” a statement by the Minister’s spokesman, Akpandem James, read.