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FG announces new rates in mining sector to boost reform

The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, has announced a new regime of rates for the mining sector to enhance ease of doing business and consolidate ongoing reforms.

At a press conference on Thursday, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, stated that the review underscores the federal government’s commitment to increasing revenue from solid minerals to enhance service delivery and bolster mining’s contribution to economic development.

Under the new regime, investors applying for a Mining Lease licence will pay N3 million, while Small Scale Mining Lease (SSML) applicants will pay N300,000 for the first two cadastral units. The cost to obtain an Exploration Licence (EL) is N600,000 for the first 100 cadastral units. A Quarry lease now attracts N300,000, while reconnaissance permit is N300,000.

The new regulations, introduced in consultation with industry stakeholders, aim to discourage speculation and address the paucity of funds, limiting the federal government’s capacity to improve ease of doing business in the sector.

The new rates, which affect 268 items in the industry, include an annual service fee of N31,500 for the first time, N260,000 for a Small Scale Mining License (SSML), N500,000 for a Quarry Lease, and N1,250,000 for firms operating with a Mining Lease.

Following the renewal of licenses, the rates for the respective categories will be N42,000 for an Exploration Licence, N420,000 for a Small Scale Mining Lease (SSML), N1,500,000 for a Mining Lease, and N1,100,000 for a Quarry Lease.

Other services affected by the new regulations include mineral title applications of the Mining Cadastral Office (MCO), alongside the transfer, enlargement, surrender, and consolidation of mineral titles.

According to Dr. Alake, the new regulations seek to maximize royalties from critical minerals like lithium and gold to boost the nation’s revenue base and contribute significantly to economic development.

In the new rates regime, Lithium ore (Lepidolite) at the current market value of N600,000 per tonne attracts an N18,000 royalty per tonne; lithium (Kunzite) with a current market value of N3 million per tonne attracts a N90,000 royalty per tonne, while lithium ore (Spodumene) with a current market value of N316,667 per tonne attracts a N9,500 royalty per tonne.

The rates review also affects services rendered by the Mining Cadastral Office (MCO) and the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA). Comprehensive details of the new rates regime will be posted on the Ministry’s website, www.msmd.gov.ng.

The Minister affirmed that the new rates regime takes immediate effect.

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Business

CBN sells $20,000 FX at N1450/$ to BDCs

The Central Bank of Nigeria said it sold foreign currency worth $20,000 to each eligible Bureau de Change operator at N1,450 per dollar.

A.A. Mahdi, the apex bank’s acting Director of Trade and Exchange Department, disclosed this in a notice on Thursday.

According to the notice: “To this end, the CBN has approved the sales of FX to eligible Bureau De Change (BDCs) to meet the demand for invisible transactions. The sum of S$20,000 is to be sold to each BDC at the rate of N1,450/$ (representing the lower band of the trading rate at NAFEM in the previous trading day).

“All BDCs are allowed to sell to eligible end-users at a margin not more than one point five per cent (1.5 %) above the purchase rate from CBN.”

The development led to the naira appreciating significantly on Thursday to N1,565 per dollar at the black market from N1,615.

Similarly, the naira also appreciated to N1,566.92 at the official FX market, according to FMDQ data on Thursday.

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Business

Inflation increases to 34.19 percent – NBS

The headline inflation rate increased to 34.19% in the month of June, according to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The report said food inflation also increased to 40.87 percent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.62% points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2023 (25.25%).

It stated that the rise in food inflation was caused by increases in prices of Millet Whole grain, Garri, Guinea corn, etc (Bread and Cereals Class), Yam, Water Yam, Coco Yam (Potatoes, Yam & Other Tubers Class), Groundnut Oil, Palm Oil, etc (Oil & Fats Class) and Catfish Dried, Dried Fish-Sadine, Mudfish (Fish Class), etc.

“On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.40% points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2023, which was 22.79%. This shows that the headline inflation rate (year-on-year basis) increased in the month of June 2024 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e. June 2023).”

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“Furthermore, on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in June 2024 was 2.31%, which was 0.17% higher than the rate recorded in May 2024 (2.14%).”

“The rise in Food inflation on a Month-on-Month basis was caused by the rise in the rate of increase in the average prices of Groundnut Oil, Palm Oil, etc (Oil & Fats Class), Water Yam, Coco Yam, Cassava, etc (Potatoes, Yam & Other Tubers Class), Tobacco, Catfish Fresh, Croaker, Mud-
fish Fresh, Snail, etc, (Fish Class).

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It stated that all Items inflation rate on a Year-on-Year basis was highest in Bauchi (43.95%), Kogi (39.91%), and Oyo (39.15%), while Borno (25.90%), Benue (27.52%) and Katsina (29.21%) recorded the slowest rise in Headline inflation on Year-on-Year basis.

“On a Month-on-Month basis, however, June 2024 recorded the highest increases in Yobe (3.79%), Abuja (3.45%), Ondo (3.38%), while Nasarawa (0.71%), Osun (1.19%) and Kano (1.27%) recorded the slowest rise on Month-on-Month inflation.”

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Business

UAE resumes visa issuance to Nigerians

Immigration kicks as Nigerian passport ranks below Niger, Chad, others

The Federal Government and the government of the United Arab Emirates, UAE, have signed an agreement for the resumption of visa issuance to travellers with Nigerian passports wishing to travel to the Middle Eastern country.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, who disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday, said the agreement took immediate effect.

He said, “You are aware that Nigeria has been discussing with the United Arab Emirates on the issue of visas for Nigerian passport holders going to the United Arab Emirates.

“Today, an agreement has been reached on that, and effective from today 15th July, Nigerian passport holders are able to obtain visa to go to the United Arab Emirates.

“Details of that will be provided to you latter today when we put out a statement.

“But I can tell you that the agreement has been reached, and effective from today, Nigerian passport holders intending to travel to the UAE are able to do so.”

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