The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the Gulf of Guinea Commission are set to work together in the fight against smuggling of solid minerals from the shore of Nigeria through the Gulf of Guinea.
This was the high point of discussion when the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite played host to a delegation from the Gulf of Guinea Commission, lead by Rt. (HON.) John Gaul, who paid him a courtesy visit on December 11, 2020 in Abuja.
The Minister, while commending the delegation for the visit and their concern for smuggling of solid minerals, said the Ministry is willing to support the Commission in all ways possible towards curbing smuggling of solid minerals through the Gulf of Guinea.
Adegbite informed his guests of efforts being made to address the challenge of solid minerals smuggling. He said that a Downstream Policy is on the way which aimed at ensuring beneficiation of solid minerals before being exported from the country. He noted that once the policy is operational, the issue of solid minerals smuggling will be drastically reduced.
The Minister appreciated the effort of the Commission in promoting trade activities in the region, but expressed concern over the rate of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and urged the Commission to seek ways of addressing it.
Speaking earlier, Rt. (Hon) John Gaul, said that the visit was to interact with the Ministry with a view to seeking ways of working together, especially in the area of halting smuggling of solid minerals through the Gulf of Guinea.
He said the Gulf of Guinea is a huge business hub which can be leveraged on to generate huge revenue for government but lamented that most exports of solid minerals through the region are done illegally.
The Gulf of Guinea Commission, established by the Treaty signed in Libreville, Gabon, on 3rdJuly 2001 by Angola, Congo, Gabon, Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe, as an institutional framework for cooperation amongst the countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea in order to defend their common interest and promote peace and socio-economic development.
Asst. Director (Press)
For: Director (P&PR)
14th December, 2020.