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Mineral Development Commission scaled second reading in Senate

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A bill to establish Nigeria Mineral Development Commission (NMDC) which was sponsored by Senator Tanko Al-Makura passed second reading in the Senate on Tuesday.

Senator Al-Makura representing Nasarawa South Senatorial District and former governor in his lead debate noted that the establishment of Commission would augment Federal government’s effort to diversify the oil monolithic economy.

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He urged lawmakers to support the creation of the Commission which he posited would help to stabilise the macro-economy and also, one of the 9th priority areas of government.

“You would recall that this Bill was read for the first time on Wednesday, 30th September, 2020.

“As part of this administration’s effort towards the diversification of the Nigerian economy, one of 9 priority areas is stabilizing the Macro economy by strategically diversifying Nigeria’s economy from being a mono-product economy to the productive development of various sectors of economy. adsbygoogle || []).push({});

“Next to agriculture, the solid mineral sector has been identified as one with the potential to compete and eventually replace crude oil as a major source of foreign exchange earnings.

“Consequently, the Economy Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) created focus labs made up of professionals from the mining sector to create intervention programmes to de-risk the solid mineral sector and increase revenue for all stakeholders, making the sector more attractive to both local and foreign investors.

“Nigeria is blessed with an abundance of solid minerals in five distinct classes; precious mineral/ gemstones (ruby, emerald etc), metallic ores (lead, zinc, copper etc), construction minerals (laterite, granite, gravel, sand etc) and energy minerals (bitumen, coal and uranium among others). All these resource remains largely untapped and unexplored.

“However, NMDC seeks to develop upstream exploration and production, midstream mineral processing and metallurgy and downstream logistics, trade and export which will catalyze investment in the entire mining value chain in Nigeria.

The lead debate equally pointed out that the Commission would contribute to the internally generated revenue which is now a challenge in the country.

“Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) currently facing state Government in Nigeria, as it would provide the much needed revenue to deliver on the administration’s priority areas of infrastructure development; social inclusion and poverty reduction, industrialization and job creation for the citizens of Nigeria.

“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.

The Federal Government of Nigeria would pay up its 70% equity contribution and the institutional investor shall pay their respective equity participation to the corporation.

“Subsequent funding of the NMDC would be through the Nigerian Mineral Development Fund (NMDF) which will be managed by the corporation strictly in accordance with international best practices.”

After contributions from some Senators in support of the bill, Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan passed its second reading.

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