The Hon. minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite has disclosed that Nigerian government is working on policies that would enable the country to fully harness potentials in gold deposits.

Adegbite made this known on Friday, February 12, 2021, when he declared opened a gold event tagged “Lagos Love Gold”. The event, which took place at the West Wing, Wings Towers, Victoria Island Lagos was organized by Kian Smith Refinery in collaboration with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

He noted the huge gold deposits in different parts of the country waiting to be explored as he assured that the federal government would deepen its activities in the sector by encouraging the private sector to come into mining. “We act as facilitator to entrepreneurs; government is putting policies in place that would harness all these activities and bring out people from the shadows into mining.”

He said government is taking the right measures to discourage illegal exportation of gold and called on those who wish to export gold to do it the right way. “It is legal for people to export gold out of the country, the process is very simple, with 3% royalty paid on the value of the gold you want to take out and by that we give you an export certificate with which you can take your gold to anywhere in the world and sell at premium price” he further explained.

Adegbite also disclosed that there is a policy in place that bans exportation of raw ore as he emphasized the need for value addition. In his words, “the government is preventing exportation of raw gold where value is added outside the country but promoting exportation of processed gold, we need to add value locally, we need to retain the value in Nigeria, thereby, creating jobs for our teeming youth”

He said the Ministry is currently training a lot of Nigerians who would become trainers on how to add value to Nigerian gold, such as jewelry making, gemstone cutting and polishing. This, according to him is geared towards attaining the Ministry’s mandate of creating jobs, diversifying the economy and earning revenue for government.

He said the Ministry’s collaboration with Kian Smith refinery is a way of encouraging and supporting private sector driven initiatives. He said the “Lagos Love Gold” is a continuation of the Kano “Gold Durban” and “Quaga Dore” in Burkinafaso that is harnessing the gold in West African region.

Earlier in her opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade said the Ministry would work with stakeholders and development partners to develop the Nigerian gold mining sector and boost gold activities in the West African sub regions.

She said, the Ministry would concentrate on delivering policies and structural changes that will have long term positive impact on the sector. “The Ministry’s supports for this event stems from the potentials it has to bring Nigeria into a world map of serious gold producing country and to strengthen the region’s gold value chain”, she added.

While appreciating Kian Smith for organizing the event and the significant roles they continue to play in the development of gold value chain in Nigeria and the sub region, she encouraged stakeholders to take full advantage of the opportunities that the event has to offer.

In her welcome address, the Chairman, Kian Smith Refinery, Nere Emiko said “Lagos Love Gold” event holding from February 12 to 27 is an exclusive gold bazaar experience and gold art immersion, showcasing local and regional jewelry makers and designers as well as providing an exclusive shopping experience.

She listed objectives of the event to include the need to instruct the continent about the role of gold in the world economy and markets, outline practical steps to unlock the value chain and highlight the benefits & role that locally sourced gold must play in Nigeria & region amongst others.