The Federal Government is to partner with West African nations in ending illegal trans-border trade on solid minerals, especially gold, with a view to deriving maximum economic benefit for Nigeria.
Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uchechukwu Ogah, dropped the hint at the opening of Ouaga Dore, Gold West Africa in Burkina Faso, urging them to cooperate with the Nigerian government to generate huge revenue from minerals.
Ogah, who was a special guest of the Burkinabe government, also explained that they were making serious efforts to diversify the economy of the most populous black nation through the mining sector, necessitating the establishment of the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Initiative (PAGMI).
Calling on heads of government to properly harness the economic benefit of the abundant mineral resources, the minister stated that plans must be put in place to curb illegal exploitation and transaction of products in the sub-region.
He, therefore, canvassed sustainable peace and security in West Africa to enable it to explore the gold value chain for industrialisation, wealth and job creation.
Applauding the host government for putting in place the right policies, Ogah added that the move would lead to the development of the country’s artisanal and small-scale gold production.
Earlier, the country’s Minister of Mining and Quarries, Oumarou Idani, commended Ogah for honouring the invitation, identifying gold and manganese as Burkina Faso’s
chief revenue earners.
He said the West African nation was adding value to its natural resources to attract investors and promoting the production of gold jewellery for export.
Also speaking, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Zachariah Ifu, stated that the embassy was exploring collaborations to facilitate bilateral ties between the two countries.