The Federal Government has called for collaboration of West African leaders in monitoring and halting illegal trans-border trade of solid minerals within the Sub-region.
Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, stated this in a statement issued by Mr Tine Iulun, the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations Unit of the ministry, on Thursday in Abuja.
Ogah, speaking at the opening ceremony of Ouaga Dore, Gold West Africa event in Burkina Faso, said the collaboration became imperative to curb illegal exploitation and transaction of minerals in the sub-region.
“For the sub-region to properly harness the economic benefits of its abundant mineral resources, efforts must be made to curb illegal exploitation and transaction of minerals,” he said.
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 the youths.
The Minister applauded the Burkinabe government for putting in place the right policies, which had increased its investment in the mining sector.
He said that the policy had also led to the development of the country’s artisanal and small-scale gold production, as attested by the event.
“The country has made a quantum leap in the development of its artisanal and small-scale gold production and today’s presentation of refined gold bar medallions speaks volume to the international investors.
“The Gold festival which featured the presentation of Gold bars, sourced mainly from artisanal operators in the country, has a significant bold step in developing the gold and mining value chain and deepening integration across West African economic corridor.”
He appreciated the valuable contribution of Burkina Faso’s mining partners, like Messrs. Kian Smith, for their efforts leading to the remarkable milestone recorded by the country.
He said Messrs Kian Smith is also a major player in the Nigerian mining sector as it holds a Gold Refinery license and Minerals Buying Centres.
Earlier, Mr Oumarou Idani, the Minister of Mining and Quarries in Burkina Faso, said that his country is endowed with gold and manganese which were the chief sources of the country’s revenue generation.
According to Idani, Burkina Faso is working to attract investors as well as support and promote the production of gold jewellery for export within and outside Africa.
Mr. Zachariah Ifu, The Nigerian Ambassador to Burkina Faso, said that the Nigerian Embassy is looking at areas of collaboration that will facilitate bilateral transactions between the two countries in the solid minerals sector.