The Federal Government has offered tax holidays and duty waiver on imported mining equipment to foreign investors that invest on the nation’s mining industry.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. kayode Fayemi, conveyed the offer while speaking on ‘Mining for Shared Prosperity: Why Nigeria, Why Now?’ at the opening session of the Africa Down Under Conference in Perth, Australia on Wednesday, according to a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday.
Fayemi listed incentives available to investors in the mining sector to include renewable tax holidays, duty waiver on imported mining equipment, and 100 ownership of business concern among others.
The minister who spoke to a gathering of African Ministers of Mines and Minerals, policy makers, investors, operators and mining financiers at the conference said the massive deposit of nickel in Dagoma, Kaduna State, was a game changer for the Nigerian economy.
He told potential investors that although it was the responsibility of the Federal Government to issue them operating licences, they needed to work with state governments and host communities to secure stakeholder support needed to succeed in the mining sector.
Fayemi said, “You need the cooperation of the host communities as well as the state governments. Even when our constitution allows the Federal Government to issue you licence, you need the understanding and cooperation of the state government and the host communities whose environment you are going to work.
“The host communities should have a stake in your investment. Once that is done, they will see themselves as part owners and will ensure that no one sabotages your efforts. This, we have learnt through experience.”
Speaking on the nickel deposit reputed to be of a high grade which covers about 20 kilometre-square in Dagoma village, Southern Kaduna, the minister said the security of the environment was one of the first major steps taken by the government to ensure the success of the project.
He added that the government was collaborating with Comet Minerals Limited, the company that discovered the mineral, on sundry aspects of the project.
The minister said the nickel discovery could be a game changer if properly managed, adding that the government would support it all through in line with the wealth and job creation agenda of its diversification plan.