Nigeria has begun the process of refining gold, gemstones and other mineral resources in the six geo-political regions of Nigeria.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, said this when he appeared on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.
According to him, adding value to the country’s mineral resources will go a long way in creating jobs and wealth for Nigerians.
He said six plants were being set up in the various regions to process mineral resources deposited in those regions.
‘We have set out to do six regional projects and one of them is the gold souk in Kano, the North West region.
“Before now, our gold was being exported in its raw form for close to nothing to foreign countries for processing and we end up buying them expensively.
‘We have trained people who will make jewellery and they will be residents in the plant,” he said.
He said similar plants had been set up in the northeast, Bauchi, for processing kaolin, while in the North-central, Kogi State was chosen for the establishment of a gold smelting plant.
Mr Adegbite also said in the South-west, in Ibadan, a gemstone plant had been established while in the South-east, a lead processing plant was established in Ebony.
The minister said in the South-south region, a baryte processing plant had been established, adding that “Nigeria imports baryte to the tune of 300 million dollars every year.”
He said the six regional projects were at an advanced stage of completion and would be commissioned soon.