Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite says President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has created job opportunities in the country.
In a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the minister on media Mr. Ayodeji Adeyemi to mark the minister’s one year in office states that the the ministry had created a business friendly and an enabling environment in the sector for the creation of jobs.
It adds that the country was on its way to becoming a major gold producing hub in the West African region, which would diversify the country’s revenue away from crude oil and create jobs for its teeming youths in Nigeria.
The statement however, notes that government was creating an enabling environment across the gold value chain.
‘Indeed the international roadshows we have had in the past have borne fruits. Today we have Thor exploration in Osun State through the Segilola Gold project, which is projected to start producing in the first half of next year.
“The project is expected to create about 400 direct jobs and 1000 indirect jobs,’ the statement stressed
It reveals that the government had licensed two gold refineries that would refine gold to the London Bullion Market Association , LBMA, standard.
These would ultimately create tens of thousands of jobs. Indeed, the government of President Buhari is all about job creation.’
Adegbite also said that the country, for the first time had mined, processed and refined gold under the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative, PAGMI, for use as part of Nigeria’s external reserves.
“Under the scheme, artisanal and small scale gold miners will earn more from higher productivity, better recovery rates through mechanization of operations, and better access to reliable geological information,’ he said.
It explains that the ministry had initiated a process that would lead to local capacity development in the production of barite.
Adegbite estimates that over five thousand jobs would be created when the nation attains self-sufficiency in local barite production.
Adegbite stated that the past one year had been a learning experience for him. ‘People have been gracious to me, availing me of their knowledge. I have learnt a lot and I am still learning.
“It has been a wonderful experience so far and I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for giving me this opportunity to serve Nigerians.’