Federal Government to Prioritize Local Mineral Processing in New Mining License Guidelines

The Ministry of Solid Minerals is set to introduce new guidelines for issuing mining licenses, with a key focus on promoting local mineral processing by companies seeking permits.

This initiative marks a significant departure from Nigeria’s historical reliance on exporting raw materials and aligns with a broader continental trend among African nations to maximize the value derived from their mineral resources.

Segun Tomori, spokesperson for Minister Dele Alake, revealed the government’s strategy, emphasizing that companies must present comprehensive plans for local mineral processing as part of their license applications.

Incentives such as tax breaks for importing mining machinery, streamlined procedures for acquiring electricity generation licenses, and the ability to repatriate profits in full will be provided to encourage investment in this area.

Tomori highlighted the government’s objective to stimulate economic growth by encouraging value addition within Nigeria’s borders.

Minister Dele Alake emphasized that future mining licenses will prioritize applicants who demonstrate a commitment to setting up processing plants, aiming to create job opportunities and support local communities.

Dele Alake, also chairing the African mining strategy group, advocates for a collective African initiative to ensure that local communities benefit significantly from mineral exploration activities.

This approach underscores a broader commitment to sustainable development and inclusive growth across the continent.

Despite Nigeria’s status as Africa’s leading energy producer, the underdeveloped mining sector has contributed minimally to the nation’s gross domestic product, accounting for less than 1%.

To address this disparity, the federal government is intensifying efforts to attract investment in the sector. Initiatives include establishing a state-owned corporation for solid minerals, granting investors a significant ownership share, and deploying a dedicated security unit to combat illegal mining activities.

By prioritizing local mineral processing, Nigeria aims to unlock the full potential of its mineral resources, foster economic diversification, and create a more sustainable path for growth and development.

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