Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The Federal Government has called for collaboration and cooperation of West African leaders in monitoring and halting illegal transborder trade of solid minerals within the West African Sub-region with a view to deriving their maximum economic benefit.
Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, made the declaration in a statement released on Thursday, in Abuja
Ogah explained are being efforts being made to diversify Nigeria’s economy through the non oil sector using the platform of the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Initative (PAGMI).
He believed that, for Africa to properly harness the economic benefit of the abundant mineral resources, efforts must be made to curb illegal exploitation and transaction of minerals in the continent, particularly the West Africa.
He emphasized the need for sustainable peace and security in the sub-region to enable it leverage and harness the gold value chain for industrialisation, wealth and job creation for its teeming youths.
The Minister applauded the Burkina Faso Government for putting in place the right policies which has significantly increased investment in the mining sector of the country, and led to the development of its artisanal and small-scale gold production.
He appreciated the valuable contribution of Burkina Faso’s mining partners like Kian Smith for their efforts leading to the remarkable milestone. He said that Kian Smith is a major player in the Nigerian mining sector as it holds a gold refinery license and minerals buying centres.
Earlier, the Minister of Mining and Quarries, Burkina Faso, Oumarou Idani appreciated the Minister for visiting Burkina Faso, with a confirmative words that the country is endowed with gold and manganese which are its major sources of revenue.
Idani stated that his country is working on attracting investors as well as supporting and promoting the production of gold jewelleries for export within and outside Africa, saying “we have a history of gold jewellers craft men in the country”.
The Nigerian Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Zachariah Mallam Ifu, said the Nigerian Embassy is looking at areas of collaboration that would facilitate bilateral transactions between Nigeria and Burkina Faso in the solid minerals sector.