In an effort to address the revenue challenges in the solid mineral sector, the Federal Government, in collaboration with the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has successfully trained 120 youths and women in Plateau State on artisanal and small-scale mining.
The week-long capacity-building initiative, which concluded in Jos on Friday, aimed to formalize the activities of artisanal miners and enhance their contribution to the country’s revenue. Mr. Ajasin Tokunbo, the Chairman of RMAFC’s Research and Development Committee, expressed concern over the low revenue generated from the solid minerals sector, attributing it to the non-formalization of many actors in the sector.
Tokunbo emphasized the need to change the narrative by formalizing the operations of artisanal miners, boosting revenue from the sector, and addressing the current over-dependence on hydrocarbons. He noted that the informal nature of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) has hindered its significant contribution to the Federation Account.
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The RMAFC, in collaboration with development partners, sees the training of artisanal miners as a crucial step toward encouraging formalization and ensuring optimal performance. The initiative aims to capture ASM activities in the tax net, benefit the country economically, and prevent exploitation by larger operators in the sector.
Representing the Chairman, Vice Chairman Ambassador Ayuba Nubaco highlighted the importance of identifying challenges faced by ASM, emphasizing the need for collaboration with sub-national governments to address these challenges.
The United Nations Development Programme, represented by Mr. Mohammed Yahya, pledged continued support to Nigeria in achieving its development goals. The UNDP donated machines and equipment to the 120 artisanal miners selected from six cooperatives in Plateau State.
The Managing Director of Plateau Minerals Development Company, Martins Darwan, expressed gratitude to the federal government and development partners for the initiative. Darwan appealed to the government to consider converting mining ponds in various communities for more productive uses, such as power generation, for the benefit of the state and its people.
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