The Federal Government in partnership with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has agreed to track the huge illegal movement of gold from Nigeria to Dubai.
This follows the illegal movement of huge quantities of gold from Nigeria to Dubai on a daily basis, with the gold passing through UAE police freely and unknown to them that royalties have not been paid to Nigeria.
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, at the media agency’s forum.
Adegbite said that the Nigerian government is currently negotiating a bilateral agreement with the UAE to check every gold entering Dubai from Nigeria.
What the Minister of Mines and Steel Development is saying
Adegbite said that the Federal Government has agreed with UAE to seize any gold from Nigeria that does not have a certificate of exportation as they expect anyone travelling with raw gold to pay royalty to the Nigerian government.
The Minister said, “The UAE collect their own charges on gold that arrived in Dubai airport but Nigeria government has told UAE to ask anyone entering Dubai with Nigeria gold to present a certificate of exportation got from Nigeria before allowing them to pass.
“We have agreed with UAE to seize any gold from Nigeria without the certificate of exportation; we told them that the value of the gold will be shared equally as an incentive for UAE to eradicate illegal exportation of gold from Nigeria to Dubai.
“All we expected from whoever that is travelling from Nigeria to Dubai with our raw gold is to pay royalty to the Nigeria government and such person will be given certificate of exportation.
“The certificate of exportation will be automatically integrated into the Nigeria Customs Services system, our law accepts exportation of gold but royalty must be paid.’’
This move by the Federal Government is seen as part of its efforts at diversifying the economy and increasing its foreign exchange and revenue sources.
The solid mineral sector, even though viewed as having huge potentials, has remained largely untapped with huge revenue leakages going into private pockets.