The Federal Government has decided to partner with West African nations in order to stop illegal trans-border trade on solid minerals, basically, gold. This move was considered with the intention to bring about maximum economic benefit for Nigeria.
Uchechukwu Ogah, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, made a remark on this at the opening of Ouaga Dore, Gold West Africa in Burkina Faso. He urged the West African States to cooperate with the Nigerian government to bring about huge revenue from minerals.
Ogah was invited as a special guest to the Burkina Faso government.
He expressed the efforts being geared towards diversifying the economy through the mining sector which, according to him, brought about the establishment of the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Initiative (PAGMI).
He stated that there must be implementations to curb illegal exploitation and transaction of products in the sub-region after which the government can properly explore the economic benefits of the abundant mineral resources.
The minister also discussed the need for sustainable peace and security in West Africa in order to explore the gold value chain for industrialization, wealth and job creation.
He commended the host government for implementing the right policies, stating that the move will advance the country’s artisanal and small-scale gold production.
Oumarou Idani, the country’s Minister of Mining and Quarries, commended Ogah for honouring the invitation, stating that gold and manganese are Burkina Faso’s chief revenue earners.
He also stated that the West African nation was increasing value of its natural resources in a bid to attract investors and promote the production and exportation of gold jewelry.
Zachariah Ifu, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Burkina Faso, also spoke on the need for collaboration between the embassy of the two countries to enhance bilateral ties.