The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEC) yesterday said the country is capable of generating N5 trillion yearly from mining and solid mineral exportation.
It regretted that Nigeria is not among the top 10 exporters of gemstone in Africa despite having enormous potential in about 34 different mineral items.
Its Executive Director, Olusegun Awolowo who spoke in Ilorin, Kwara State, during a-one day workshop for gold miners, processors and exporters, said the Council would continue to collaborate with the relevant government ministry to improve the fortunes of the sector.
Represented by the Deputy Director, Production, Samuel Oyeyipo, he said the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the 2017 annual budget clearly recognised the enormous potential of the solid mineral sector and the capability of Nigeria to generate at least N5 trillion annually from mining and exportation of Nigeria’s solid mineral.
He said NEPC would continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development by aligning itself with the ‘road map for the growth and development of the Nigerian mining industry’ as approved in 2016.
Awolowo said: “Available record show that Nigeria earned N62.2 billion from the solid minerals sector in 2015, an increase of 24 per cent on the N55.8 billion earned from the sector in 2014, based on yearly report of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
“Similarly, according to figures published by the International Trade Centre (ITC), Geneva, in 2015, world gemstone export was put at $132.6 billion, out of which African countries exported $11.3 billion worth of gemstones. The top ten leading African exporters were Botswana, South Africa, Angola, Lesotho, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Sierra Lone, Mauritius, Namibia and Tanzania. Regrettably, as listed above, Nigeria is not among the top 20.”
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