By Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano and Nume Ekeghe in Lagos
The Minister of Mines and Steel development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, has reiterated the federal government’s commitment to boosting activities in the Gold and precious metals sector.
Adegbite said this at the weekend, during the formal launch of ‘Kano Gold Durbar,’ organised by Kian Smith Trade & Co. Limited and other stakeholders.
Adegbite commended the organisers, saying the event was a step in the right direction in showcasing Nigeria’s potential in gold craftsmanship.
He said: “What we are doing here today is actually to convert gold in its raw form into derivatives that is jewelries, trinkets ornaments and more and that is why we are in Kano.”
On ways the government would support the sector, he said: “Also, the government is training people in the art of making jewelries. It is a 9-month a program and we are in the process of selecting people that we would train and who would now form trainers to others in Nigeria.
“We are trying to create a gold ecosystem that would transcend beyond the bullion to trading in jewelry and more and I think we are in the right direction.”
He further added: “Oil and gas has dominated the economy, and a lot of people do not talk about other assets that Nigeria has.
“This market has operated below the radar and what the government is doing now is to give recognition to these people, enhance their productivity and at the same time, they pay what is due to government.”
Kian Smith Trade & Co. Limited, a gold exploration, mining and processing company pledged to support the federal government’s gold drive, saying the commodity was poised to become a major income earner for Nigeria.
Also, at the event, the Kano state government was presented with a gold bar that was mined processed and crafted by Kian Smith firm.
Speaking on the sidelines, the Managing Director of Kain Smith, Ms. Nere Teriba, said: “The world is capitalising on gold and we are loosing and so those of us in this market decided that it was time to stop loosing.
“Gold hitting $2,000 per ounce is a legendary benchmark and now we are there and have passed it. It is so significant for us as a region that has gold to enhance the sector.
“Everyone now is going gold even with digital currencies and we as a major stakeholder in the gold sector had to get in on that.”