LCCI Opposes FG’s Proposed Ban On Mining Sector


The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has flayed the federal government’s proposed ban on motorcycles and mining activities in the country, describing the plan as one with grave consequences for the country’s economy.

The National Security Council had last week in a bid to curb terrorist activities proposed to ban motorcycles and mining activities to disconnect terrorists from their sources of funding.

LCCI Director General, Chinyere Almona, said it was concerned about the unintended consequences this ban will have on the mining sector and the business environment in the long run at a time unemployment rate is increasing in the country.

Almona explained that the Mining and Solid Minerals Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry understood that criminals use motorcycles as means of mobility and escape from the security agencies but argued that it is unacceptable to label the entire Nigerian mining sector as sponsors of banditry and terrorism in Nigeria.

“This looks like an attempt to blame all legitimate mining operators for the activities of bandits and terrorists operating in Nigeria. The Nigerian mining industry employs several thousands in the formal and informal economy of Nigeria”.

Specifically, the artisanal and small-scale mining ecosystem accounts for at least 90 per cent of the activities in the mining sector; from granite quarrying, limestone mining, to base metals mining, limestone mining for cement production, sand mining, non-metallic industrial inputs for the paint and pharmaceutical industry, to mining of precious metals like gold; as well as gemstones mining.

This announcement, she said will drive away foreign and local investors from Nigeria’s mining sector while existing local investors who have secured loans to finance their mining projects across Nigeria are at the risk of losing their investments of several years. Also, the proposal will affect the government’s diversification plans into a non-oil exports-based economy.

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) economic reports between 2015 to 2020 put the total value of solid minerals exports within that period at $1.75billion and LCCI warns that the country will lose this amount if the activities in the sector are banned.

“Duly licensed mining companies should be clearly differentiated and distanced from the activities of bandits and terrorists whom the National Security Council have based its proposal upon.

“We need to enforce all the necessary laws and policies to guarantee security of local and foreign investments in the solid minerals sector as well as ensure that investors get best returns on their investments.”

The LCCI DG urges the government to empower the solid minerals and mining sector by deploying Geographic Information System (GIS), automation of application and processing of mining licenses, leases and permits all through a one-stop-shop platform.

She canvassed that the Integrated Automation and Interactive Solid Minerals Portal (IAISMP) should truly be a go-to portal for real time information on the sector while the plan to build a national electronic geo-data archiving management system to be called the Nigerian Geo-Data Center at the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) should be finalised.

“We cannot afford to jeopardize the fortunes of mining in Nigeria with a blanket ban on mining activities when we should be able to isolate illegal miners and demobilize criminals from mining sites. “We urge the government to reconsider ways to demobilize criminal activities from mining sites and create a safe environment where mining can thrive.”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *