In a stern directive issued on Thursday, the Federal Government cautioned states and local authorities against imposing royalties and taxes on licensed miners within their jurisdictions. Minister of Solid Minerals Development Dele Alake, speaking in Kaduna, underscored the government’s resolve to collect over N2 trillion owed by miners and operators across the nation.
Represented by Acting Zonal Mines Officer Kutman Ali, Alake convened a meeting with members of the Licensed Minerals Holders and Laterite/Sand Operator Dealers in Kaduna to outline the ministry’s agenda for 2024. Emphasizing the urgency of settling outstanding debts, the minister revealed that miners in Kaduna alone owed the Federal Government over N300 billion, urging swift repayment.
Alake reiterated that royalties and taxes constituted federal revenue, firmly declaring, “State and local governments are not authorized to collect royalty and tax on mining activities.” He warned of deductions from federal allocations for any unauthorized collection, stressing the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government over mining-related taxation.
Asserting the administration’s commitment to combating illegal mining activities nationwide, Alake announced the activation of the Special Mines Task Force in Kaduna. Comprising personnel from various security agencies, the task force aims to curb illegal mining operations and enforce monthly royalty payments.
“The mining sector under the Tinubu administration is of paramount importance,” Alake affirmed, urging licensed miners to obtain proper permits before commencing operations. He emphasized the significance of regulatory oversight in fostering a conducive environment for responsible mining practices.
In response, Ado Dogo, Chairman of the Miners Association of Nigeria, Kaduna branch, highlighted the necessity of dialogue between miners and regulators to address sectoral challenges. Dogo underscored the vital role of mining activities in contributing to the federation account while advocating for collaborative efforts to streamline regulatory processes.
Amidst growing concerns over unauthorized taxation and illegal mining, the Federal Government’s proactive measures signal a concerted effort to safeguard the integrity of Nigeria’s mining sector and promote sustainable resource management. As stakeholders navigate regulatory complexities, adherence to federal guidelines remains paramount to ensuring equitable and transparent governance in the mining industry.