The various incentives provided by the Federal Government to attract foreign investors into Nigeria’s mining industry have begun to bear fruit, as the country is set to export its first mined gold.
Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, stated this during a webinar monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
On Thursday evening, Adegbite spoke at a virtual interactive session hosted by Lagos Business School (Sustainability Centre).
“An Evening with the Minister of Mines and Steel Development” was the title of the program.
Its theme was “Nigeria in Tough Times: The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development’s Contributions and Opportunities for Private Sector Participation.”
According to NAN, the forum is part of LBS Public Sector Engagement, which aims to increase public-private sector dialogue and collaboration in order to improve Nigeria’s inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development.
According to Adegbite, Segilola Resort in Ilesa, Osun, began producing gold in August.
According to him, foreign investors have been drawn into the country as a result of the various incentives provided by the federal government.
“Among them is Tour Exploration, which is active in Osun. It is traded on both the Toronto and London stock exchanges.
“They own the Segilola Resort in Ilesa.” Segilola’s gold production began in August.
“Right now, they’re making gold. The facility there has the capacity to produce between 80,000 and 100,000 ounces of gold per year, which can be exported or sold locally to interested buyers.
“The first shipment of locally produced gold has arrived at the port for exportation.
“Previously, gold mining in the area was done manually by artisans, resulting in significant revenue loss for the government.”
“However, now that this company is in place, their activities are transparent.” The government receives a royalty of about 3%. “Unlike in the past, we now know how much money we can make from gold production,” he said.
Adegbite stated that the federal government was establishing a formal market for gemstones in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, in order to stop the ridiculous buying and raw importation of the minerals.
According to him, the market is being built at a rapid pace in order to prevent the importation of raw gemstones.
“We are also teaching our employees how to cut stones and polish them for use in jewelry.” We are adding value to it rather than allowing foreigners to export it at a loss.
“In Ibadan, we have an informal market for our gemstones where people come from all over the world to purchase them.”
“What they do is simply purchase the gemstones in raw form without weighing them.” As a result, because they are in raw form, they do not pay the correct price, regardless of the actual value of the stones on the scale.
“They don’t pay the right price; they are simply defrauding our people,” said the minister.
Adegbite, on the other hand, cautioned the communities that host the various mineral resources not to scare away investors with frivolous demands.
“I advise the host communities hosting our minerals to refrain from making excessive demands that may scare away investors from their communities,” he said.
“We’re not saying you shouldn’t request development in your areas.
“We have put safeguards in place for potential investors.” Mining is no longer permitted in Nigeria without the consent of the affected communities.
“However, what we do in the ministry is moderate.” Investors’ demands on host communities must be moderated. This is done to ensure that investors do not take advantage of the communities.”