Mineral Producing States Want 13% Derivation Payment
State governments are demanding the payment of 13 per cent derivation from revenue accruing from solid minerals mined in their territories.
Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, said the money should be paid to the states in an address at the opening session of the 4th Annual Nigerian Mining Week in Abuja.
The Federal Government had in 2017 said it had approved the payment of 13 per cent derivation from mining revenue to the states.
The move was aimed at encouraging greater collaboration between the two tiers of government in the development of the mining sector.
However, speaking in Abuja on Tuesday, Sule said the states had not been receiving the 13 derivation fund from the solid minerals’ revenue produced in their domains.
He urged the Federal Government to commence disbursing the money without any further delay.
“The Federal Government should commence the disbursement of 13 per cent derivation from solid minerals to state governments,” the deputy governor said.
Sule, who disclosed that only about 10 out of more than 400 mineral title holders operating in Nasarawa were active, further called on the Federal Government to carry the states along in issuing mining licences.
According to him, arbitrary issuance of mining licences by the Federal Government was undermining the state government’s desire to develop agriculture.
A portion of land made available by the Nasarawa State Government to the Dangote Group for a sugarcane plantation was said to have been reallocated to a company for mining activities by the Federal Government.
“The ministry will give licence to a miner to come to a state to mine without the knowledge of the state government,” he said, noting that the development had led to a ‘conflict of interest’.
The deputy governor urged the Federal Government to take steps to combat the under-declaration of mining proceeds by miners, and collaborate with the states on the issue of mining royalties.
He also called for the disbursement of the N2.5bn Solid Minerals Development Fund to the miners.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, while declaring open the Mining Week, noted that the 13 per cent derivation from mining revenue was being paid and urged the deputy governor to ascertain the situation from the state’s accountant-general or commissioner for finance.
The minister warned that the Federal Government would no longer allow evasion of royalty payment by mining companies and exporters.
“Under the proposed Mineral Export Guidelines, there would be no room for royalty payment evasion. “All mineral exports shall be inspected by government-appointed independent pre-shipment inspection agents, who are empowered by law to render quantity and quality control services and monitor pricing. This control mechanism is in accordance with the Pre-Shipment Inspection of Exports Act,” he said.