This is according to the latest occasional paper series released by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on Thursday.
The fourth issue in the series, the report assessed the sector’s performance and revenue profile relative to the extractive industry which also comprises of the oil and gas sector.
The report revealed that in the period under review (2007 to 2016), the mining sector made only $1.78 billion dollars out of the $476.8 billion dollars recorded in the extractive industry.
The bulk of earnings recorded in the industry was in the oil and gas sector which contributed $475 billion within the 10-year period.
This shows that the revenue government generated from solid minerals averaged a mere 0.41% of the total earnings from the extractive industry, compared to the 99.59% earned from oil and gas.
Although it seemed there was a temporary reprieve between 2008 and 2009 when the sector’s revenue contribution increased by 0.23%, the next two years witnessed some form of latency.
Contribution to revenue in 2010 and 2011 remained at 0.25% but marginally increased to 0.32% in 2012.
In the 10-year review period, the NEITI report said mining’s contribution to the extractive industry was less than 1% when compared to the oil and gas sector’s dominance.
Where Nigeria stands in Africa
The NEITI report revealed that the mining sector has the potential to “sharply contribute to the GDP” but this is not the case as it is currently lagging behind its peers in Africa.
Nigeria’s mining sector’s contribution to GDP is a paltry 0.55% compared to the 40%, 25% and 18% that Bostwana, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Africa contribute to their national GDP respectively.
The poor performance is recorded despite the fact that the nation is endowed with about 44 different minerals comprising of high-value commodities and are found in commercial quantities in 450 locations around the country.
Some of the problems identified as a bane to the sector’s development include dearth of relevant information, poor funding, weak fiscal regime, poor inter-ministerial and inter-agency collaboration, inadequate technical capacity, illegal mining operations and opacity of industry laws and regulations.
These issues, especially the governance aspect, have in no small way affected the influx of investments to the mining sector, leading to a poor perception among foreign investors.
From comatose to thriving?
In a welcome turn of events, the mining sector’s revenue profile increased by 500% in 2017 from the 0.94% contribution in the previous year, according to NEITI.
The 2017 fourth quarter (Q4) and full year GDP report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that coal mining, a sub-sector, grew by 2.86% in Q4 2017 from -38.49% in Q3 2017 and 0.44% in Q4 2016.
Metal ores, another sub-sector, grew by 31.86% in Q4 2017 from 10.70% in Q3 2017 and 7.03% in Q4 2016.
Listing some of the factors that led to an improved revenue profile, the report said: “It is however noteworthy that with some efforts, the revenue profile for 2017 has been reported by the office of statistics to have improved by 500% over the previous years.
“This positive development has largely been due to improved logistics provision for mines inspectors, and reshuffling and strengthening of the relevant departments.
“However, even these latest improvements fall short of performance projections at the start of the reforms, considering the enormous mineral potential and endowment of Nigeria, as such steps should be taken to attract major miners to the sector by improving the policy environment.”
In its recommendation, NEITI said that the government should boost investors’ confidence for the mining sector to maintain a robust revenue profile, thereby leading to sustainable growth and development.
“Nigeria’s low score in Policy Perception Index should be reversed through further removal of barriers to investment,” the report read.
“While efforts have been made by the current government to improve the ease of doing business score, further attempts should be made to increase the ease of access to critical information, not only about minerals deposits but even about ownership of mineral titles in the country.
“Mining policies should also guarantee predictability and consistency of application of rules.”
The top contender for that position of senate president has to be Ahmad Lawan, senator representing Yobe north senatorial district.
He was believed to have been favoured for the position by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
Lawan was re-elected by his constituents on Saturday and is one of the ranking APC senators.
Four years ago, the APC caucus in the senate was divided over the leadership of the national assembly. In an attempt to broker peace between the two APC factions, the president had summoned an emergency meeting at the International Conference Centre (ICC). While Lawan and his supporters were there, Bukoal Saraki teamed up with the PDP to become the nation’s No. 3 citizen.
In the end, Lawan was compensated with the position of senate majority leader.
HE REMAINED LOYAL TO THE APC NONTHELESS
Despite his hopes getting shattered, Lawan stayed with the APC even when the party was hit with wave of defections. On one occasion, APC lost 14 senators with Saraki announcing his exit shortly after.
Amid the defection storm, Lawan remained there to lead his colleagues and defend the APC. He defended the president for not signing the electoral act amendment bill and opposed those who contemplated impeaching the president.
ONE OF THE LONGEST SERVING LEGISLATORS
Lawan has been a member of the national assembly since the return of democracy in 1999, together with David Mark and Nicholas Mutu.
He was first elected a member of the house of representatives in where he chaired the committees on education and agriculture at different times. After eight years in the lower legislative chamber, Lawan took a shot at the senate in 2007 and was elected to represent Yobe north district, a position he has held ever since.
He is unarguably one of the most experienced APC lawmaker returning to the 9th senate, having been at the two chambers.
STRONG ACADEMIC RECORDS
The 60-year-old is a graduate of the University of Maiduguri where he read geography. He also has a postgraduate diploma in land survey, an MSc and PhD in Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS), all from the University of Cranfield, United Kingdom.
TINUBU’S ADMIRATION FOR HIM
At a recent meeting of some APC leaders in Ibadan, Oyo state, Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the APC, spoke glowingly of Lawan. He defended the party’s choice of him as senate president in 2015, praising his continued loyalty to the party.
“Senator Lawan … you are a great example of a very consistent and intellectually resourceful leader that we have in this country,” he said.
“We saw in him, these leadership traits and the qualities we wanted in the Senate President. We know you are qualified and competent to be, that you would have led the most important arm of our government more effectively but the political prostitutes and their robbers and their collaborators denied you of it because of selfishness and selfish aggrandisement.
“But instead of fleeing, you remained constant and consistent, seeing this institution as a place for truly lawmaking that we the people and you have remained consistent and constant ever since on a progressive stand. Thank you.”
LAWAN GETTING SET?
Shortly after he won reelection bid, the senator the APC is not only confident of producing the next senate president but that such senate leadership will mend the broken ties between the legislature and the executive.
“This time, it will not be the kind of National Assembly that will betray the trust of Nigerians; the national assembly will support Mr President to meet the needs of Nigerians,” he had said.
“The time for unnecessary bickering and opposition has come to an end; we cannot afford to waste more time on unnecessary politics and denying the people of Nigeria the much needed development. The national assembly will support and cooperate with the president to effectively serve the interest of Nigerians.”
Sounds like he already has his plans all figured out and just waiting for the big moment.
Apart from Lawan, there are other ranking senators who could become senate president if the position is zoned to the north-east or north-central.
Adamu, a former governor of Nasarawa state who will be serving his third time in the senate, is a possible candidate for the job. The senator was once accused of plotting the removal of Saraki but he later denied this, describing Saraki as his son. He represents Nasarawa west senatorial district.
Ndume who represents Borno south senatorial district is also another possible contender. He is also returning to the upper legislative chamber for a third term. He was made the senate leader along the line but was later removed in January 2007.
A two-time governor of Gombe state, Goje has been representing Gombe central in the senate since 2011. He is arguably one of the most vocal lawmakers in the senate and is in the mentions as possibly the next senate president. He currently chairs the senate committee on appropriation.