By Gabriel Ewepu
GOLD TRADE– THE Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari has disclosed that Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates, UAE, have agreed to scale up gold trade for mutual benefits.
This was made known by Bwari in a statement signed by the Personal Assistant on Media to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, lshaku Kigbu, during the recent visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Dubai, UAE, where on the sidelines of the Dubai Annual Investment Meeting, where him (Bwari) and the Under-Secretary for Foreign Trade, UAE Ministry of Economy, Abdullah Al Saleh, agreed to expand and deepen bilateral relations basically on gold trading and following the quantum of gold traded between both countries over the years.
The Minister who headlined the panel on Digital Trade at the conference, told participants about the effort government in Nigeria was making to digitally prepare the mining sector to create an enabling environment that would be of advantage for investors to reap the benefits and gains of the digital economy which he said had already reached $11 trillion worth in 2016.
He said: “Following the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, UAE, at the Dubai Annual Investment Meeting, where on the sidelines I met with the Under-Secretary for Foreign Trade, UAE Ministry of Economy, Abdullah Al Saleh, where we agreed to expand and deepen bilateral relations basically on gold trading following the quantum of gold traded between both countries.
“Already, the Ministry has been digitalising its agencies, especially the Mining Cadastre Office, which has made mining licenses easier to get so that it will soon be possible for an investor to sit at the comfort of his home and get a mining license.
“With the opportunity, I had to headline the panel on Digital Trade at the conference, I spoke on the mammoth exploration work going on in Nigeria, which will provide accurate and reliable data of minerals for investors. The time to invest in Nigeria’s mining sector is now.”
According to him (Bwari) the panel agreed that while Africa stands to benefit massively from the digital revolution, however, there are challenges which range from poor infrastructure, limited capacity to exploit opportunities, cybersecurity and weak regulatory framework.
Meanwhile, the Under-Secretary for Foreign Trade, UAE Ministry of Economy, Abdullah Al Saleh, stated that Nigeria remains a major supplier and exporter of gold to the Dubai market, but there is need to expand the trade between both countries for a robust market.
Al Saleh further spoke and emphasized on the enormous potential in Nigeria’s solid minerals sector, and expressed concern over poor technological growth being a major clog in the wheels of Nigeria’s quest for diversification. According to him, in spite of these challenges government has made progress in that to diversify the economy.