Everest Amaefule, Abuja
Nigeria’s mining industry is full of fresh opportunities for both foreign and local investors, the Federal Government has said.
Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Bawa Bwari, said this when he led a delegation to the London Stock Exchange.
In a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Monday, the minister said Nigeria’s mining industry was safe, contrary to perception around the world.
He added that the government was offering investors an opportunity for tax holidays as well as opportunity to bring in equipment duty free.
Bwari said, “If Nigeria before now was seen as a mining destination, the current perception issue against the country would not have been there. It is over- exaggerated and l want to say that Nigeria is ready and open for mining business as never before.
“Our mining laws are some of the best you can find around the world. Mining licence process is efficient and digitalised and can be got now under 30 days. Investors enjoy tax holidays for three to five years. They can own their businesses 100 per cent and enjoy other juicy incentives. Nigeria is extremely blessed in solid minerals which are under- exploited.
“Nigeria’s mining jurisdiction is friendly and more sophisticated compared with other African countries. Most importantly is the fact that the present administration has made all processes in mining very transparent.”
According to Bwari, issues regarding Nigeria’s insecurity have been blown out of proportion against the interests of would-be investors.
Bwari said, “Nigeria is very safe for investment in mining. Unlike oil and gas that is found only in the Niger Delta region, solid minerals are scattered in all the 774 local governments in Nigeria.
“The North East being talked about as unsafe for Nigeria is where one of biggest mining activities is going on at the moment by an Australian company called Symbol Mining Company.
“They are into lead zinc production and exportation. What we do is to always encourage investors coming in to always play by the rules and follow security guides given to avoid any harm. Some cut corners and run into trouble. Indeed, there is no country in the world today without its own share of crime. So, the issues are more of perception than reality in general terms.”
He said the essence of visiting the London Stock Exchange was to help reshape every negative perception and promote Nigeria’s readiness to receive investors into the country.
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