Solid Minerals: Meaning & Problems in Nigeria
Definition of Solid Minerals
Solid minerals are naturally occuring substances derived from the earth which are of great value to man. They include metalic ores, fuel minerals (such as coal. uranium, signet, tar sands), industrial minerals and rocks (such as limestones, marble, etc.) and gemstones/ornamental stones.
Solid Minerals in Nigeria
Nigeria is greatly endowed with solid minerals. In fact, it has about 76 minerals that are scattered across all the states of the federation.
The ownership of the mineral resources of the country is vested on the Federal Government as a custodian on behalf of the Nigerian citizens.
Problems of the Mining Industry in Nigeria
Currently, mining of solid minerals contributes just about 1% to the Nigeria GDP.
The industry is confronted with many problems, some of which include:
- Failure of the country’s leadership to tap positively and rigorously into the potentialities of the sector for the economic development of the country.
- There is inadequate funding for the industry.
- There is insufficient and non-availability of appropriate equipment for field works.
- The rudimentary activities carried out by illegal miners whose networth cannot be measured by any known standard.
- There is lack of legal and regulatory framework for a viable mining industry in the country.
Prospects for the Mining Industry In Nigeria
- There is the need to place mineral resources in the concurrent list to enable states export mmenI resources in their domains for greater Income generation, wealth and employment generation. economic growth and development.
- Granting of short term tax holidays to big mining companies for rapid exploitation of solid minerals with attendant returns to the coffers of the government.
- Encouraging foreign investors to invest in the sector by granting generous incentives such as exemption from payment of customs and import duties on plant, machinery and equipment needed for efficient mining operations.
Contribution of Solid Minerals to the National Economy
A truly developed mining industry in Nigeria is capable of making the country:
- The largest and strongest economy in the continent of Africa.
- One of the ten economic powers in the world.