FG Assures Canadian Mining Investors Of Business Friendly Environment
The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, yesterday in Abuja assured investors from Canada who have indicated investment interest in the Nigerian mining sector of a business friendly atmosphere.
Bwari gave the assurance at the Nigeria – Canada Investment Summit held in Abuja yesterday.
“Permit me to use this forum to assure our Canadian partners that it is now so much easier to do mining business in Nigeria, and we are more than prepared to welcome them with open arms,” he said.
He noted that this partnership between both countries was a renewed one as Canada provided training and critical expertise to the sector during the reform era which, according to him, began around 2013.
“We have noticed a gradual return of Canadian mining companies to our mining jurisdiction. One of the more famous ones is Thor Explorations Limited, which is registered in Canada and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and which is continuing with its mines development and exploration works over Segilola Gold Project in Ilesha, Osun State.
“There is also James Bay Resources Ltd whose interest is Bitumen but which has also indicated interest in Lead Zinc.
“During the last PDAC conference in Toronto, the Nigerian delegation had a fruitful meeting with Canadian officials, and we promised to work together to settle some outstanding issues, including the signing of the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, FIPA. I am informed that the ministry of trade is working assiduously to get the document ready for signing soon,” he said.
Highlighting the attractions in the reformed mining sector, the minister said, “We have high grade deposits of many mineral types; we have a conducive investment climate comprising 100 per cent ownership of your mining project as guaranteed by the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007; we have waivers for customs and import duties for plant, machinery and equipment imported for mining operations; we have tax holidays of three to five years; we have free transfer ability of funds and permission to retain and use earned foreign exchange; we have capital allowances of up to 95 per cent of qualifying capital expenditure.”
He said the present administration has managed to de risk the mining sector through better funding, better management of artisanal miners, better policing of the mining environment to ensure safety and environmental compliance, better explorations for quality data collection and better collaboration with stakeholders in the mining sector.