By Adedapo Adesanya

More than 2,000 companies in the solid minerals sector owe the Nigerian government around 2.76 billion naira, according to the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

The agency disclosed this in a statement released by its Deputy Director/Head of Communications and Advocacy, Ms. Obiageli Onuorah.

The NEITI Independent Solid Minerals Industry Report tracked and reconciled financial flows in the sector, verified the quantities of minerals produced, used and exported in 2020.

Presenting the report to his multi-stakeholders, Mr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary of NEITI, said that the companies’ liabilities resulted from the failure of 2,119 companies to pay the statutory annual service fees for the respective mining titles. .

Mr. Orji said 6,010 existing strong mining titles were valid as of December 31, 2020, while 7,605 mining titles have been issued in the industry over the past five years.

“As the government desperately seeks revenue to fund growing budget deficits, NEITI is committed to using its reports to disclose potential revenue recoveries, pending immediate action from relevant government agencies.

“It is interesting to NEITI that every kobo counts to reduce the government’s financial burden, and our reports will continue to provide useful information and data on who owes what in the oil, gas and mining sector, Mr. Orji said.

He announced that the sector’s total revenue contributions in 2020 had risen to N128.27 billion, an increase of more than 54% from the N74.85 billion recorded in 2019 despite the COVID-9 pandemic. .

Mr Orji said the report also revealed that 8.89 billion naira had been shared among the federated units as solid mineral revenue in 2020.

“The breakdown of the figure shows that the Federal Government received 4.07 billion Naira (45.83%), the States and Local Government Areas received 2.07 billion Naira and 1.59 billion Naira respectively ( 23.25%; 17.92%) while N1.16 billion (13%) was recorded as derivation share.

The Executive Secretary revealed that 71.1 million metric tons of minerals were produced in 2020.

According to him, a breakdown of total production showed that granite, limestone, sand and laterite were the main contributors to mineral royalty payments recorded during the period.

He further revealed that five states in the federation: Ogun, Kogi, Cross River, Edo and Bayelsa topped the rankings, contributing 66% of the solid minerals produced in the country that year.

On corporate activities that have shaped corporate investment in the solid minerals sector, he identified Dangote Cement Plc as the first, followed by Lafarge Plc, BUA International and Dantata and Sawoe with the highest production.

This, he said, represented about 64% of the total volume of mineral production in 2020.

He further revealed that total mineral exports in 2020 were 32.99 million tonnes valued at $42.46 million, while China, with 80% of total exports, remained the top destination for mineral exports. solids from Nigeria.

“According to the report, a total of N3.87 billion was recorded in 2020 as social expenditure, which is a 49% increase from the amount spent for the same purpose in 2019.

“In addition, N5.8 million was documented as environmental expenditure by three companies during the year, while information on community development agreements was not disclosed,” he said. he noted.

Mr. Orji said the report found that out of Nigeria’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of N152.32 trillion in 2020, the solid minerals sector contributed N686.64 billion, or just 0 .45%.