The Federal Government has commenced moves aimed at making it an offence for anyone to take unprocessed minerals out of the country. Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, disclosed this in Lagos at a Town Hall meeting with stakeholders in the mining sector.
The meeting was attended by representatives of local and international mining outfits, officials of federal, states and local governments, financial institutions, manufacturing companies, professional bodies, community organisations, security agencies and the civil society.
Fayemi noted that government was aware of activities of some foreign nationals who export unprocessed minerals through illegal routes, thereby denying the country of revenue accrued to it through its vast mineral endowment.
The minister agreed with stakeholders at the meeting that the activities of these foreigners had robbed the youth of massive job opportunities in the sector.
He stated that the ministry was working with the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) and other relevant security agencies to make it illegal for anyone export unprocessed minerals.
Fayemi stressed that unauthorised export of unprocessed minerals is injurious to the economic plan of the government; hence the ministry’s current focus is to ensure that operators set up plants in Nigeria, process the minerals and then export the finished products.