Federal Government: Nigeria is soon to become a Major Gold-Producing Hub in West Africa

Olamilekan Adegbite (Min. for Mines & Steel)

According to the government announcement on Monday, Nigeria becoming a major gold-producing home in the West African region, would diversify its revenue base from crude oil and in the process, create jobs for citizens.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, made the declaration in Abuja while taking stock of his first year in office as a minister of the Federal Republic.
“Numerous industries will spring up when our gold economy becomes full-fledged. Some of them will include equipment leasing and repairs, logistics and transport, as gold requires a specialized means of transportation, security, insurance, aggregators, and so on,” the minister said.
He also noted that for the first time, the country had mined, processed and refined gold under the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative for use as part of Nigeria’s external reserves.
“Presently, the barite that is used in the oil and gas industry is imported. But we are resolved to reverse this trend. As you may know, barite is a critical weighting material in drilling fluids due to its high specific gravity,” he further said.
According to The Punch, Mr. Adegbite pointed out that the global travel restriction occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic was preventing technical experts from Russia from visiting for audit, referring to the Ajaokuta Steel Plant.
“I am hopeful that Ajaokuta will come on stream before the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure and when that happens, it is poised to create thousands of jobs,” he said.

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