The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite has promised to complete the construction of the Kano Gold Souk before the end of the year.
A statement signed by the Director Press and Public Relations, Etore Thomas says Adegbite made this known while inspecting the project in Kumbotso Local Government of Kano State.
The statement explains that the Gold Souk is part of the current administration’s efforts to establish strategic Artisanal & Small-Scale Mining Clusters in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country to harness their potential.
It stresses that the Gold Souk when completed and fully developed will rival Gold Souks in other parts of the world adding that the essence is about value addition.
“We want our gold in Nigeria to be enhanced here, we add value, create jobs for our people as well as generate revenue for government”, he emphasised”.
“It is important that we add value to our gold instead of taking it out in the raw form, we will make jewellery such as bangles, wristwatches, necklaces and so on and then people will know that there is a Souk in Nigeria where they can visit and buy just like in other parts of the world,”
It urges the contractor to work faster and smarter while adhering strictly to the approved project masterplan.
According to the statement, the Permanent Secretary, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade says the Ministry is doing all within its mandate to support ASM.
It stresses that the Federal Government approved establishment of the Clusters in the six geopolitical zones to develop the minerals in each zone for comparative advantage.
“These zones and the minerals being developed according to her, are Kaolin in the North East Zone (Bauchi), Gold Processing Plant in North Central Zone (Kogi), Lead/Zinc in the South East (Ebonyi) and Barite in the South-South (Cross River).
Others are, the establishment of a Gem Stone Market in the South West (Oyo) and Gold Souk in the North West Zone (Kano).
The statement says that the Minister who was accompanied on the inspection by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade and the Director Artisanal and Small Scale Miner (ASM), Patrick Ojeka, were impressed with the pace of work as the groundbreaking took place four months ago.