By Henry Okonkwo
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, has disclosed that the Federal Government in collaboration with the United Arab Emirates has agreed to track the huge illegal movement of gold from Nigeria to Dubai.
The minister made this known to newsmen in Abuja.
Adegbite noted that huge quantities of gold were being moved from Nigeria illegally daily to Dubai, adding that the gold passed through UAE police freely, but that unknown to them royalties were not paid to Nigeria.
He said, “The UAE collects their own charges on gold that arrived in Dubai airport but the Nigerian government has told the UAE to ask anyone entering Dubai with Nigeria’s gold to present a certificate of exportation obtained from Nigeria before allowing them to pass.
“We have agreed with the UAE to seize any gold from Nigeria without a certificate of exportation; we told them that the value of the gold will be shared equally as an incentive for the UAE to eradicate illegal exportation of gold from Nigeria to Dubai.
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“All we expect from whoever is travelling from Nigeria to Dubai with our raw gold is to pay a royalty to the Nigerian government and such a person will be given a certificate of exportation.
“The certificate of exportation will be automatically integrated into the Nigeria Customs Service system, our law accepts exportation of gold but royalty must be paid.”
Also, Adegbite said the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited will function to capacity before the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He said the Federal Government had made efforts to ensure that the Russian company that built the steel firm would come to Nigeria to conduct a technical audit.