Samuel Bello, Abuja
In its efforts to diversify and create a robust and self-sufficient economy, the Federal Government is making moves to finalise a solid minerals export guidelines in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Customs, NEPC, CBN, NPA, and other stakeholders.
Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari, who stated this during the official commissioning of AMRAN favoring incubation Centre and the graduation ceremony of successful trainees, in Abuja, said the issue of exporting unprocessed solid mineral products would be adequately taken care of in the document.
Bwari also said the establishment of gold refineries and faceting incubation centres in the country would go a long way in preventing gold and gemstone smuggling.
He said the centre would no doubt facilitate the training of youths in the art of gemstone and also result into job and wealth creation.
His words, “Nigeria is endowed with gold and gemstone resources located in several states that are currently exploited by ASM operations.
“These are mostly smuggled out of the country in unrefined, unprocessed form leading to massive losses of earning for Government and the producer as the gold, gemstones are mostly not appropriately priced.
Bwari commended AMRAN for their achievement in the gemstone subsector and enjoined them to adhere to the provisions of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2017 and its pursuant Regulations, 2011.
He added that there should be in place a transparent and competitive pricing mechanism that would facilitate patronage by gemstone producers and dealers.
In his remarks, Chairman of AMRN Mining Company, Alhaji Lamba Zannnah, said the Incubation Centre was the first for Gemstone Faceting in Abuja.
He said that a significant proportion of Minerals produced by Nigeria is exported in an unprocessed form to Countries which included Hong kong, Thailand, Germany, China, USA.
The AMRAN Chairman said the centre has the capacity to train up to 500 youths annually to be good cutters in addition to other gemstone value chain agent.
Zannah urged the government to recognise the potentials of the incubating centre and give financial support in form of grant and soft loans from the Solid Minerals Development Funds or any other source to facilitate early reaping of the benefits from the subsector and its upstream and downstream industries.