The Nigerian mining and quarrying sector recorded growth in the production of solid minerals in 2018. The total quantity of solid minerals produced rose from 45.7 million tons in 2017, to 55.9 million tons in 20181 – representing a 22% increase. Disaggregated by type of solid mineral, Limestone was the most produced – production grew by 95% to 27.2 million tons in 2018, and accounted for about 49% of the total tons of minerals produced. The growth witnessed in the sector may have emerged from the government’s efforts and incentives to develop the sector and also in a bid to diversify the economy. The government had offered mining companies a three to five year “tax holiday”, duty and tax-free importation of equipment, full ownership of their businesses and the ability to take profits out of the country2. In addition, the government committed about $100 million intervention fund for the sector and awarded mining contracts to ten exploration and consulting firms, in 20183. In addition to ongoing interventions, there is need to minimize the indiscriminate export of mineral commodities especially gold, tin and lead-zinc to foreign smelters, as formalizing these activities offers great potential for a significant source of revenue for Nigeria, away from oil.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
The paper discusses the geographic characteristics of West Africa, the diverse productive activities in each of the geographic location and its implications for regional integration.
Recent data by the CBN shows a decline in manufacturing capacity utilization by 2.0 percentage points to 50.7 percent in 2016Q2. Foreign exchange challenges in addition to cash squeeze in the review quarter, led to the decline in capacity utilization. This has hindered activities in the sector while impacting negatively on business confidence. Nonetheless, the CBN recently directed authorized FX dealers to dedicate 60 percent of FX purchases to manufacturers. This policy measure is therefore expected to meet the sectors critical FX need for the purchase of imported raw material and other machineries, while boosting the potential for economic growth in the long term.
Recent Data on Nigerias Real GDP growth rate (Year-on-Year) declined by 0.73 percentage points, from 2.84 per cent in 2015Q3 to 2.11 percent in 2015Q4. The slowdown in economic growth was largely driven by the decline in the performance of the oil sector which was occasioned by the slump in crude oil prices and the slight drop in the volume of crude oil produced. Specifically, compared to the 1.05 percent growth recorded in 2015Q3, the oil sector witnessed a negative growth of 8.28 percent in 2015Q4.