The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, has stated that Nigeria has one of the lowest gold export royalty in the world.
Adegbite explained that the royalty fee accruable to government from gold export was merely three per cent of the value of the export, adding that the low rate was to encourage growth in the gold mining sector.
A statement by the minister’s Special Assistant, Mr. Ayodeji Adeyemi, stated that the minister disclosed this in Lagos recently at the ‘Lagos Love Gold’ event organised by Kian Smith Refinery in collaboration with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
The minister added that the process of exporting gold had been streamlined, pointing out that one of the first things he did when he assumed office was to publish a pamphlet about the right way to export gold.
“It is perfectly legal for people to export gold out of the country. However, it must be done in the right way.
“You pay a royalty and our royalty rate is about the lowest all over the world. It’s just three percent of the value of the gold you want to take. After you have fulfilled all the requirements, you would be given an export certificate which allows you to sell it anywhere in the world at the ongoing market rate,” Adegbite said.
The minister, however, stated that those who refused to pay royalty were cheating both themselves and the government, adding: “You cannot have export certificate if you don’t pay royalty and because you don’t have the certificate, you would be exploited by the foreign buyers who would buy it at a very low rate.”
He also reiterated the federal government’s resolve to diversify the economy through the mining sector, noting that the government had implemented policies that had developed the sector and made it more business friendly.
He said Nigeria as a country was blessed with so many minerals but that the country’s economy had been largely dependent on oil and gas.
According to him, Nigeria is coming to a situation where it needs to diversify the economy away from oil and gas which is what the ministry was doing through the mining sector.
The minister added: “Since I have been in office we have been trying to deepen our activities in the sector and we have been encouraging the private sector to come along with us as we act as facilitators to entrepreneurs.
“There is a lot of gold trading that has been going on in Nigeria although in the informal sector. What we have done is to come up with policies that would harness all activities and bring out people from the shadows.”