The Senate through its Committee on Finance has said that Nigeria could generate about $3bn from solid minerals.
The Chairman of the Finance Committee, Senator Sani Musa, in a statement on Sunday said the informal sector, particularly the mining industry, is a hidden gem in our revenue potential.
He also stated the Senate Finance Committee will seriously look at the informal sector which constitutes about 80% of the Nigerian Economy. The committee will look into empowering the informal sector with the spotlight on mining.
He said, “This was corroborated by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development that the solid minerals have the capacity to generate about 2-3 billion US dollars annually.
“We will dedicate our efforts to understanding and nurturing this sector with appropriate legislation with emphasis on formalising artisanal and medium-scale mining activities.”
Musa noted that this strategic move will bring economic benefits while promoting safer and more responsible practices.
He added, “We will harness and raise revenue sources from both the Blue Marine and the Creative Economies, by setting targets.
“The committee will legislate to encourage regulations of consumption and production, facilitate enabling environment through legislation for domestic Industries to develop and stimulate economic growth through direct foreign investments inflow.
“Upholding fiscal discipline is pivotal to our financial health. As Senate Finance Committee, we will fasten our commitment to prudent revenue sourcing, ensuring that every income earned is been accounted for so that our nation’s priorities and development goals can be addressed.”
He also noted that the committee will ensure that the annual budget aligns with the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and fiscal strategy paper to ensure a coherent roadmap, bridging medium-term aspirations with concrete fiscal plans, and fostering accountability in the efficient utilisation of resources.
The Senate Finance Committee also said it would extend unwavering support to the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform in its ambitious endeavour to address the substantial annual revenue gap of 20 trillion Naira from non-oil sources and also to achieve an 18% tax-to-GDP ratio.
The lawmaker added, “In parallel, the Committee underscores its commitment to legislate on comprehensive tax reforms, a pivotal step towards augmenting revenue generation and fostering sustainable economic growth.
“Stringent Oversight of Revenue Agencies will be entrenched as our responsibility extends to overseeing the activities of revenue-generating agencies. Through rigorous oversight, we will ensure their transparency, accountability, and efficiency, thus maximising revenue collection for national development.
“We will leave no stone unturned as we embark on this transformative journey of renewed economic prosperity by embracing innovation, transparency, and untiring dedication, we will steer our nation towards prosperity, resilience, and shared progress in line with the Renewed Hope of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s administration.”
Musa also noted that some Ministries, Departments, and agencies are fiscally irresponsible and generate low revenue profiles.
He said, “In my capacity as the Chairman, the Senate Committee on Finance I’m very much aware and in the know of the economic and developmental challenges our country is going through, including the escalating debt burden, low revenue profile, and fiscal irresponsibility by some MDAs. In this pursuit, I pledge to lead the committee with diligence, innovation, and a steadfast focus on securing our nation’s economic prosperity.
“It is a known fact that the Nigerian economy stands at a critical juncture, navigating through a complex web of economic challenges that necessitate strategic and informed policy responses.
“ With a backdrop of low GDP growth which the Nigeria Bureau Statistics put at 2.51%, in the second quarter of 2023 lower than 3.54 % of the second quarter of 2022, persistent inflation, high unemployment, a mounting debt profile, and a limited revenue base, the economic landscape demands concerted efforts to address structural imbalances and foster sustainable growth.”
The lawmaker also extended his congratulations to the newly inaugurated Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy Mr Olawale Edun, stating that his position is that carries with it a profound responsibility for shaping Nigeria’s economic trajectory.