At the on-going maiden National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development, Stakeholders have called on the Federal Government ( FG ) to check illegal mining and unauthorised exports of minerals in the country.
The stakeholders, who made the call in different presentations at a technical session of the meeting in Abuja, urged the Federal Government to tackle illegal issuance of mining licence by some state governments.
In addition, they urged the government to address geoscience data, default in the payment of taxes and royalties as well as multiple taxations in the sector.
Mr Ebhota Al-Amin, a mining research and policy development expert, in his presentation, said mining had not been able to contribute meaningfully to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) because of those challenges.
Al-min , who gave a presentation on “Illegal Mining and Export Challenges: Policy Recommendations’’, said the sector had not been contributing significantly to GDP because a good percentage of exports in the sector remained undocumented.
He said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should be more involved in the exportation of minerals as being done in other mineral-rich countries.
Also, Prof. Peter Akper of Equity Law Partners dwelt on the various obstacles affecting the growth of the sector.
Akper, who presented a paper, “Creating Effective Regulation and Legal Framework for Mining Sector,’’ commended the government’s ongoing reform in the sector with its attendant growth.
He also observed that the country had well-structured mining laws.
The professor, however, said that the government needed to do more enforcement of existing laws and strengthening of the institution, to achieve an excellent result.
Other stakeholders who spoke, urged the Federal Government to enforce mining regulations to enhance the growth of the sector.
They also urged the government to focus more on strengthening sector governance to fully realise its economic diversification plan through mining.
According to them, strengthening the sector governance will enable the government to manage the available mineral resources and compete favourably in the global mineral and mining market.
The meeting, which started with the technical session, is expected to discuss memoranda in five chosen thematic areas for approval at the ministerial session.
The permanent secretary is the chairman of the technical session while the minister of mines and steel development will chair the ministerial session on Thursday.
The theme of the three-day meeting is “Enhancing Mineral Resources Governance towards Economic Growth and Diversification’’.