…He says locally-made gold will help diversify the country’s revenue base
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday received the country’s first artisanally-manufactured gold.
“With the implementation of the PAGDMI scheme which will result in the set-up of accredited gold buying centres across key mining areas, artisanal miners and SMEs engaged in mining will be able to capture the value of their work,” Buhari declared on Thursday.
“These operations will help in diversifying our revenue base.”
The President reiterated that the sale of gold by conventional miners and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) at authourised markets will assist the government in achieving royalties and taxes from the sale of these goods.
He said the projects are designed to help in improving our foreign reserves by promoting the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to raise quantity of gold in its reserves.
The traditinally-fabricated gold was processed and refined according to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) standards.
CBN has now bought the 12.5kg bar of gold at the rate of N268 million for use as part of Nigeria’s foreign reserves, with a cheque presented for that amount to the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMDI)
PAGMDI is a broad artisanal and small-scale gold mining development programme, established in 2019 to facilitate the formalization and integration of artisanal gold mining activities into Nigeria’s legal, economic, and organisational framework.
Buhari approved PAGMDI in 2019 to address the challenges of illegal smuggling of gold out of the country and foster the cohesion of locally-made gold into the formal standard.
The initiative was developed to integrate social, environmental, health and safety, economic, commercial, and technical considerations, into its formulation.
It was also signed as a wider scheme in focusing on structural and institutional factors such as rural poverty, lack of means of livelihoods, and difficulties in meeting legal and regulatory requirements that approach to drive artisanal gold mining operators deeper into the informal market.
The main gold producing belt with history of artisanal workings and exploration activities in Nigeria will benefit from PAGMDI.
Kebbi and Osun States will serve as the leading states as intervention at artisanal mining sites will take place in Kebbi, Kaduna, Zamfara, Niger, and Osun states.