On Monday, the Federal Government of Nigeria confidently announced that very soon, Nigeria will become a major gold-producing hub in West Africa.
This is in line with the Federal Government’s plan to diversify the economy from relying heavily on crude oil and also to create jobs for its teeming youths.
Olamilekan Adegbite, who is the Minister of Mines and Steel Development stated this in Abuja on the occasion of his 1st year in office.
He said, “Indeed, the international roadshows we have had in the past have produced fruits. Today, we have Thor exploration in Osun State through the Segilola Gold project.
“The exploration firm is projected to start producing (gold) in the first half of next year. The project is expected to create about 400 direct jobs and 1,000 indirect jobs.”
Adegbite said two gold refineries have so far been licensed by the Government, which would refine gold to the London Bullion Market Association standard.
He added, “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 specialised means of transport, security, insurance, aggregators, and so on.”
Adegbite went on to say that the mines ministry had initiated a process that would lead to local capacity development in the production of barite.
“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 said.