The Federal Government has agreed to track the massive illegal gold migration from Nigeria to Dubai in collaboration with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
This is a response to the daily illegal movement of large quantities of gold from Nigeria to Dubai, with the gold passing through the UAE police unnoticed, despite the fact that no royalties have been paid to Nigeria.
According to a source, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, made the announcement at a media agency meeting.
Mr. Adegbite stated that the Nigerian government is now negotiating a bilateral arrangement with the United Arab Emirates to inspect every gold entering the country.
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 UAE collect their own charges on gold that arrived in Dubai airport but the Nigerian government has told UAE to ask anyone entering Dubai with Nigerian gold to present a certificate of exportation got from Nigeria before allowing them to pass.
“We have agreed with the 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 Nigerian 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,” the Minister said.
The Federal Government is taking this step as part of its attempts to diversify the economy and increase foreign exchange and revenue sources.
Despite its enormous potential, the solid mineral sector has gone virtually unexplored, with massive revenue leakages into private pockets.