By Isaac Anumihe
As part of measures to incentivise investments in the Nigerian mining sector, the Federal Government yesterday offered prospective investors a three-year tax holidays.
Speaking at the opening session of the ongoing Africa Down Under Conference in Perth, Australia recently, Minister of Solid Mineral Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said the country was determined to return stronger to the global ore and mineral market to drive the growth and development of the sector through the private sector.
He said that the tax holiday would commence from the date the investor begins mining operations in the country.
The Minister listed other incentives approved by the Federal Government for investors in the mineral and mining sector to include exemption from Customs and import duties on mining equipment, in addition to the option of whole ownership of the firm by such investors.
Fayemi also identified security as another major area the government was investing in, in order to ensure security of investment as well as life and property.
“Our government has a renewed commitment to the improvement of security across mine sites, logistic related security and general terrorism,” he said.
The Minister who presented graphical details of incentives obtainable in several other major mining countries, including Australia, USA, South Africa and Chile, told his audience, comprising investors, operators and other allied professionals that Nigeria was offering more generous incentives, including favourable tax regime and royalties.
He said the country was determined to build a world-class minerals and mining ecosystem designed to serve a targeted domestic and export market for minerals and metals, adding that part of the vision of the Ministry is to contribute to job creation.
“We are focusing on rebuilding our minerals and mining sector in three phases: Phase 1, in the immediate term, we are achieving import substitution by winning over domestic users of industrial minerals.
“Phase 2, our focus is on further expanding our domestic ore and mineral asset processing capacity. Phase 3, we will return stronger to the global ore and minerals markets at a market competitive price point,” Fayemi added.
According to the Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister, Olayinka Oyebode, the African Down Under Conference is renowned as one of the leading fora for facilitating discussions on how to grow investments and participation in the African mining space. It attracts significant interests from organisations prospecting for business opportunities in the mining sector in Africa, he said.
“Nigeria is attracting a huge attention at the conference in view of the recent discovery of nickel in some parts of Kaduna State by an Australian mining company and the planned presentation of the country’s mining roadmap at the conference,” he further said.
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