The FG has banned the export of raw gold, gemstones and other solid minerals, Mines and Steel Development Minister, Olamilekan Adegbite, said on Sunday. The ban, according to the minister, followed the approval of the government’s recently approved ‘Down Stream Mineral Policy.’ Adegbite, who spoke while featuring in a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum at Abuja, explained that the policy would help avert the country’s mistakes in the oil and gas sector. In his words: “If you mine and you cannot process it yourself, you can sell it off to processors in Nigeria. These processors would either buy it off you totally or process and resell or they can process and return it to you. That is the policy in Nigeria now because we do not want to lose jobs or wealth to other countries.” Adegbite added that the government had set up demonstration policy centres in Bauchi and other places. He urged foreign and local investors who do not want to invest in mining to invest in processing. Adegbite expressed optimism that the Kano Gold Souk and other regional projects being executed by the ministry will become operational by 2023. He reiterated the subsistence of the ban on mining in Zamfara, saying it would be lifted at the appropriate time by the National Security Adviser.

Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele said forex receipts from oil sales have dried up and the number of Nigerians seeking foreign education is to blame for the fall of the naira. Emefiele said this at the 57th Annual Bankers Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos. In his words, “the official foreign exchange receipt from crude oil sales into our official reserves has dried up steadily from above US$3 billion monthly in 2014 to absolute zero dollars today.” On education, he noted that the number of student visas given to Nigerians by the United Kingdom spiked from a yearly average of about 8,000 visas in 2020 to almost 66,000 in 2022, implying an eight-fold increase amounting to $2.5 billion yearly in study-related forex outflow to the UK alone. He said the move has put pressure on the country’s foreign reserves and the Naira. He reiterated the need to boost Nigeria’s foreign exchange inflows through non-oil proceeds.

Lagos has shortlisted a consortium led by Portugal’s builder Mota-Engil and two Chinese ventures to build a $2.5 billion bridge that is expected to relieve severe congestion in the mega-city, an official said on Sunday. The 37-kilometre Fourth Mainland Bridge will be built under a public-private partnership. It will include three toll plazas, nine interchanges and a design speed of 120 kilometres per hour, said Jubril Gawat, a senior spokesperson for the Lagos state governor. Mota-Engil is bidding with China Communication and Construction Corporation and China Road and Bridge Corporation. China Gezhouba Group Company and China Geo-Engineering Corporation joint venture and a consortium led by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation are the two other shortlisted bidders. The bid winner will be announced before the end of the year, said Gawat.

Islamist militants attacked a hotel used by government officials in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Sunday evening, police and witnesses said. Al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab, which controls large swathes of the country, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying in a statement that it was targeting the nearby presidential palace. Security forces were responding to an attack by al Shabaab on a hotel in the capital’s Bondhere district, state broadcaster SNTV said on Twitter. The assailants stormed the Villa Rose hotel, which is close to the presidential palace, two police officers told Reuters. It was not immediately clear how many attackers there were, the officers said. Some government officials at the Villa Rose were rescued after using windows to escape, said Mohammed Abdi, one of the police officers. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was elected earlier this year, has been carrying out a military offensive against al Shabaab.