The Federal Government on Thursday Promised to give tax holidays to miners of seven minerals in the country.
Kayode Fayemi, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, made the promise at a stakeholders meeting of the Association of Miners Processors of Barite, AMAPOB, and Tse Torkula Community in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.
Mr. Fayemi said that out the 40 solid minerals in the country, the federal government was concentrating on seven minerals for full exploration.
“As a country, we have the best tax holidays worldwide, all miners have three years tax holidays from the government.
“Again, out of the 40 minerals in the country, we have selected seven strategic ones for concentration. The minerals are limestone, barytes, iron, bitumen lead and zinc.
“We also have duty free on all mining equipment,” he said at the event also attended by the Minister for State Mines and Steel Development, Abubarkar Bwari.
Mr. Fayemi advised miners to adequately compensate host communities for peace and healthy working condition.
“We are seriously discouraging a situation where miners fail to compensate host communities either by cash or through inequities that are resulting to unhealthy situations. We need a healthy environment to work”.
He said that the government needed to massively inject funds and create good market environment for full mining activities to take place in the country.
He said that there were serious mining activities ongoing in the country other than cement, but were not heard about until this national tour of mining sites by government.
The minister said that Benue, Nasarawa and Cross Rivers states had large quantities of barytes to satisfy the needs of the oil and gas companies.
He said that the government was likely to commenced substitution or ban importation of barytes for oil companies to patronise barytes produced locally.
Mike Mku, the Vice President of AMAPOB, appealed to the federal government to ban importation of barytes into country.
Mr. Mku said that the local processors of barytes had enough to sustain the oil and gas companies.
He said his members lacked equipment, infrastructure and market to sell their products since the oil companies were currently importing barytes.
He appealed to government to leverage on local content by partnering with them for effective output in the mining sector.
Gregory Tarkubu, spokesperson for the host community, promised their cooperation and support to the mining project in the community.
The minister visited Dajo Pottery, REMICO Processing Plant and Ploygaurd Investment while in the state.