The Acting Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Mr.Shettima Abba-Gana, has called for a sustained intervention in the solid minerals sector to enhance economic recovery and growth.
Abba-Gana made the call yesterday in Abuja. He was responding to the report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that the nation had exited recession in the second quarter of 2017.NBS had on Tuesday announced that the nation, which slipped into recession in 2016 following five consecutive quarter contraction, was out of recession.
Abba-Gana said that diversification through the solid minerals sector and agriculture were the surest ways to sustain the economy.
“RMAFC has been at the forefront of diversification, urging states and local governments to embrace it fully. The best tools of diversification for the Nigerian economy are solid minerals and agriculture.
“Solid minerals are in every state and local government; so we must rededicate our attention to it as it can create employment, boost the economy and generate revenue.
“In addition, let the state governments be interested in solid minerals in their states, because they will get 13 per cent derivation, just like those from oil producing states,” he said.
Abba-Gana said illegal miners who made up 80 per cent of miners in Nigeria, should be brought on board and educated on the new techniques of modern mining to boost the nation’s revenue base.He commended the Federal Government for taking Nigeria out of recession, adding that the feat was made possible because of the measures it employed.
“We are very happy that the recession has come to an end; it was initially caused by the collapse in the price of crude oil and the fact that we did not manage the surplus when we had it.
“What has happened now is the discipline that this government has brought into place and the fact that the government has found ways of increasing sources of funds by efficient revenue generation and collection.Some borrowing also helped to revamp the economy,” he said.
Abba-Gana expressed optimism that the exit would bring about more Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) as the citizens and foreign investors would begin to have more confidence in the economy.
TBI reports that the data released by NBS showed that the country’s GDP grew by 0.55 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2017.The Bureau added that the recovery was driven principally by the performances of oil, agriculture, manufacturing and trade sectors.