Minister of State for Solid Minerals, Alhaji Abubakar Bawa Bwari, has expressed dismay that the solid minerals sector only contribute a paltry 0.34 per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Nigerian economy.
He stated this at a seminar on The Role of Mining in Diversifying the Revenue Base of the Nigerian Economy, organised by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), in Abuja.
According to him, “today, we have at least 44 known mineral assets that include precious metals, base metals, bulk minerals and rare earth metals.”
Despite the huge number of solid mineral resources that can be found in every part of the country, contribution of the sector to the GDP is as low as 0.34 per cent, he stated.
He expressed hope that in the nearest future Nigeria would have learnt how to increase the contribution of this sector to the economy.
Bwari also lamented that Nigeria spends over N1.5 trillion annually on food importation which puts pressure on the nation’s foreign exchange, pointing out that it has become pertinent to take full advantage of agricultural potentials in order to preserve the dwindling resources while enriching the local farmers.
Earlier in his welcome address, acting Chairman of RMAFC, Shettima Umar Abba Gana, urged participants to make meaningful impact towards maximizing the potentials of the solid mineral sector to the economy thereby reducing the nation’s overdependence on crude oil.
Bwari said: “It should be noted that the work of the commission in this sector has enabled the sector to contribute N12 billion revenue into the federation account for the first time with 13 per cent derivation paid to the states in 2015.”