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Nigeria Losing Billions Daily To Foreign Miners – Senate

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The Senate yesterday disclosed that the country needs N5 billion as start-up capital for the establishment of the National Mineral Development Commission (NMDC). This is even as it disclosed that the country loses billions of dollars daily to foreign miners.

This followed the approval of the establishment of an agency for the development of solid mineral resources in Nigeria. The approval came after a debate on a bill sponsored by Senator Tanko Al-Makura, (APC, Nasarawa).

The bill: “A bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian Mineral Development Corporation to invest and catalyze investments in the mining sector, to promote and support mining sector growth and for all related matters”, seeks to provide enabling environment for investment and foreign exchange earnings for the country through adequate exploration of solid minerals. The bill passed second reading when the senate president, Ahmad Lawan, subjected it to voice vote.

Senators who contributed to the debate argued that Nigeria was losing billions of dollars daily to foreign miners who are exploiting the country due to the absence of an agency to oversee solid mineral exploration and exploitation in the country.

It is expected that the establishment of the NMDC will address the challenges of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) currently facing state governments in the country, as well as provides the much needed revenue to deliver on government’s priority areas of infrastructure development; social inclusion and poverty reduction, industrialisation and job creation for the citizens of Nigeria.

The sponsor of the bill, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, however noted that, “upon establishment of the corporation, initial funding shall be by way of a sovereign guarantee covering the sum of N5,000,000,000.00 (Five billion Naira only) for a successful take off of the operation including all initial capital and operating expenditure.”

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