Abuja Chamber of Commerce seeks more mineral export

Chidi OkoliTHE Abuja Chamber of Commerce Limited (ABUCIL) has urged the Federal Government to encourage formal export of mineral resources through massive awareness campaign to create additional sources of revenue. The chamber made the call when Chidi Okoli, the Chamber’s Vice President, Mines, led a delegation to pay a visit to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Musa Mohammed Sada, in Abuja.

The Chamber also urged the Federal Government to develop a buying centre where minerals can be ware housed to enable buyers have access to such minerals without much stress. The Vice President, Mines equally requested for the need of the state offices of the Ministry to be strengthened. `

`This will make them function effectively in the various mining fields within their area of jurisdiction,” he said. Okoli expressed the readiness of the Chamber to collaborate with the Ministry in exposing the potentials of the mining sector through exhibitions and trade missions outside the country.

He said that the ECOWAS had organized the setting up a regulatory body known as the ECOWAS Chambers of Mines, which was expected to take off soon.

The minister in his response expressed his profound appreciation for the visit and remarked that the ministry had established strong relationship with Chambers and Miners Association.

He was of the opinion that the mining sector should be the strongest arm in any Chamber of Commerce. The Minister said he was satisfied with the progress made so far in the sector, and appealed to business operators who drive the economy to try and create environment of doing businesses.

He expressed pleasure at the rebound of Tin mining which he said which Nigeria used to be the highest exporter in the past. “Tin is now coming back as experts have found out that plastic has an adverse effect on human health,” he said.

On the request of buying centre, the Minister said that Government had attempted to establish 12 buying centres but due to inefficiency and corruption, government privatised them.

Sada said the issue of import duty was an economic issue which had to be tackled by the budget office adding that his ministry could only make recommendation to the department handing the nation’s budget.

He appealed to operators in the mining sector to have valid exploration license this he said would enable such people to import exploration equipment. The Minister explained further that issuance of licence could not be simplified because there are laws guiding the issuance of licence. “Once such requirements are met and licence is not issued then, the ministry can intervene, when such problem is brought to the Ministry’s notice.

The Ministry does not tolerate corruption and inefficiency,” he said. He explained further that for the Ministry to strengthen state offices, Promotion Centre had been set up where its staff are mandated to attend Trade Fairs and bring report to the office of the Minister.

He said State Offices were to liase with the promotion centre for information and any other related issues. On summit, the Minister advised that the organisers should start locally as this will prepare them for international events.



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