The Federal Government has pledged to make Nigeria a major gold producing hub in Africa and it is ready to give necessary support to the sector to drive the diversification plan of the Nigerian economy from oil.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, during a facility tour of Segilola Gold Project, Iperindo, Osun State on Thursday.
The Minister, in a statement issued by Ayodeji Adeyemi, his Special Assistant, and seen by Nairametrics, explained that the Federal Government was poised to support mining companies to grow the economy and create jobs for its citizens.
According to him, the visit was to lend support to the company and to inspect the level of work carried out at the site. He thereafter expressed delight at the progress of work done.
Adegbite said, “We want to make Nigeria a major gold producing hub in Africa and this is why the administration of president Buhari has given so much support to this sector to ensure that we diversify our economy away from oil .
“Indeed the Ministry of Mines and steel development has provided a number of incentives to businesses and investors to spur growth in the sector. Some of the incentives include: waiver on Customs and import duties for plant, machinery and equipment imported for mining operations.
“Tax holidays of between three to five years for businesses as applicable. Free transferability of funds and permission to retain and use earned foreign exchange. Capital allowances of up to 95% of qualifying capital expenditure. Deductibility of Environmental Costs (money meant for environmental remediation will be tax free) and 100% ownership of mineral properties.”
Assuring Nigerians that the project would be completed before the end of the second quarter of 2021, the Chief Executive Officer, Segilola Gold Project, Segun Lawson, stated that in spite of the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the company’s target production start date would not change.
He added that the company was aiming to produce an average of 80,000 ounces of gold per year for the life time of the mine.
He said, “The company had created 500 direct jobs and 1100 indirect jobs. Despite the challenges of constructing during the pandemic we have ensured that all our facilities are built to world class standards.“
Segilola Gold Mine, owned by the Canadian mineral exploration company, Thor Explorations Limited, is set to be completed in the first half of 2021.
The gold mine which was built to place Nigeria on the list of major gold producing nations, is expected to create about 400 direct and 1,000 indirect jobs by carefully exploring the abundant wealth inherent in the gold value chain.
Earlier in the week, Adegbite had visited the governor of Kaduna state, Nasir Ahmad El-rufai, and equally reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to grow the mining sector and support mining companies in the sector.
The Minister assured the governor that the ministry was ready to collaborate with the state to harness some of its mineral resources in the right way as provided by the constitution.
He also pledged the ministry’s support to help with a mining engineering department in the new Kaduna State University.
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