By Agatha Chitumu
Daily Courier – The Federal Government has assured it would complete the on going Kano Gold Souk before the end of the year 2022.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite gave the assurance Tuesday in Kano while inspecting the construction of the Gold Souk.
In a statement issued February 9, 2022 by Director Press & Public Relations, Idowu Jokpeyibo, the Minister said the establishment of a Gold Souk in Kano is part of the current administration’s efforts to establish strategic Artisanal & Small-Scale Mining Clusters in each of the six (6) geopolitical zones of the country to harness the potential of the Artisanal and Small Scale Miners (ASM) operators in the Country.
The Gold Souk which is being constructed in Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano State, when completed and fully developed according to the Minister, would rival Gold Souk(s) in other parts of the world.
The Minister who was accompanied on the inspection by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade and the Director Artisanal and Small Scale Miner (ASM) Mr. Patrick Ojeka said he was impressed by the level of work done even as the ground breaking took place four months ago.
The essence of the Gold Souk according to him is about value addition. “We want our gold in Nigeria to be enhanced here, we add value, create jobs for our people as well as generate revenue for government”, he emphasised.
“It is important that we add value to our gold instead of taking it out in the raw form, we will make jewelries such as bangles, wristwatches, necklaces and so on and then people will know that there is a Souk in Nigeria where they can visit and buy just like in other part of the world”, he further revealed.
Adegbite further charged the contractor to work faster and smarter while adhering strictly to the approved project masterplan.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade said the Ministry is doing all within its mandate to support ASM.
The Federal Government according to the PS approved the establishment of Clusters in the six (6) geopolitical zones so as to develop the minerals in which each zone has comparative advantage.
The zones and the minerals being developed according to her, are Kaolin in the North East Zone (Bauchi), Gold Processing Plant in North Central Zone (Kogi), Lead/Zinc in the South East (Ebonyi) and Barite in the South-South (Cross River).
Others are, establishment of a Gem Stone Market in the South West (Oyo) and Gold Souk in the North West Zone (Kano)