Reps want export of unprocessed Natural Resources banned

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The House of Representatives on Thursday, May 15, called for the immediate ban on the exportation of unprocessed natural resources and raw materials from Nigeria.

It urged the federal government to implement policies and incentives that would add value addition to raw materials and mineral resources and attract investors and businesses in the country.

The House is also to conduct an investigation into the current practices and challenges related to the exportation of unprocessed natural resources and raw materials from Nigeria and propose legislative interventions to promote and prioritize domestic value addition and processing.

Adopting a motion of urgent public importance by Ojuawo Rufus Adeniyi (APC, Ekiti), the House asked the Federal Government to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, including state governments, private sector entities, and development partners, to develop a comprehensive strategy for promoting value addition to raw materials and mineral resources.

It also wants the federal government to provide support and incentives to local industries and entrepreneurs engaged in the processing and value addition to natural resources and raw materials.

The House also stressed the need for relevant Ministries, in collaboration with relevant agencies, to monitor and enforce compliance with the ban on the exportation of unprocessed natural resources and raw materials.

Leading debate on the motion, Adeniyi said Nigeria is blessed with vast natural resources and raw materials in large commercial quantities but most of them end up being exported in their raw form, which reduces their export values, adding that the norm of exporting these natural resources and raw materials deprives our nation of the true value and potential economic benefits.

According to him, the exportation of unprocessed natural resources and raw materials deprives the country of potential revenue and job opportunities that could arise from value addition within Nigeria. When value is added to primary products before export, the benefits to the nation increase geometrically.

He stressed the importance of adding value to natural resources before exportation as a means of enhancing the country’s economy and promoting sustainable development, saying it was an indisputable fact that the Nigerian economy, like that of most African countries, is characterized by the export of raw materials and the import of finished goods.

He maintained that overdependence on imports has a serious impact on the Nigerian economy, leading to a lack of control over growth factors and vulnerability to external economic conditions.

The lawmaker said this economic model encourages subsistence living, discourages growth and development, fosters hardship, poverty, disease, and crime, and undermines nationalism and loyalty to the state, adding that this economic model interferes with the government’s purposes of creating infrastructure for growth and prosperity.

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