Gold is the most smuggled mineral out of Nigeria – Minister says

OLAMILEKAN Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel has disclosed that gold is the most smuggled mineral out of Nigeria.

The Minister who stated that a few people have been caught in the act in recent times made this known on Monday, while speaking on a program on Channels Television.

“The people who smuggle these minerals out of Nigeria, take it through our borders, so part of our proposals is to strengthen the relationship between our ministry and the Ministry of Finance who supervises the Nigerian Customs Service,” Adegbite said.

He explained that those who venture into illegal mining and export, do so because of the immediate value of the mineral.

“We have caught a few people trying to smuggle out gold because of its immediate value, it is the most smuggled mineral out of Nigeria.”

Adegbite disclosed  that there are plans to strengthen systems that would arrest illegal mining and trading in the country.

He further noted that some of the illegal mining were carried out by Chinese nationals who enter the country, securing work or stay permit under different guise, adding that such would be curbed.




     

     

    “We are working also with the Ministry of Interior because most of these Chinese people that do illegal mining come into Nigeria through immigration. They have some sort of stay or work permit.”

    Earlier in January, Adegbite had called for an end to the illegal mining practice, stating that they offer no benefit to both federal and state governments.

    In July, President Muhammadu Buhari said the country lost close to $3 billion to gold smuggling in six years, between 2012 and 2018.

    President Buhari also noted that improved gold mining operations in the country will generate about 250,000 jobs and over $500 million annually in royalties and taxes to the Federal Government.

    Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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