The federal government has called for collaboration and cooperation of West African leaders in monitoring and halting illegal trans-border trade of solid minerals within the West African Sub-region.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Gold Festival in Burkina Faso recently, the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, said stopping such illegal trade would unlock the maximum economic benefit of such minerals for the countries.
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A statement by the acting Director, Press, Mr. Timothy Akpoili, said Ogah, who was a special invitee of the Burkinabe government, explained efforts being made to diversify Nigeria’s economy through the solid mineral sector, especially the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Initiative (PAGMI).
He emphasised the need for sustainable peace and security in the sub-region to enable it to leverage and harness the gold value chain for industrialisation, wealth and job creation for its teeming youths.
The Minister of Mining and Quarries, Burkina Faso, Oumarou Idani, said his country was working on attracting investors as well as supporting and promoting the production of gold jewelleries for export within and outside Africa.
“We have a history of gold jewellers craft men in the country”.