The Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative, PAGMI, has assured that Central Bank of Nigeria’s purchase of locally produced gold will boost the nation’s foreign reserves.
This was made known in a statement signed by the Secretary, PAGMI, Hajiya Fatima Shinkafi.
According to the statement gold produced by artisanal and small-scale miners will be at the licensed buying centers, which they will supply the CBN.
The statement reads in part, “Through PAGMI, the Central Bank of Nigeria will purchase locally produced gold in Naira to boost the nation’s foreign reserves.
“PAGMI will buy all the gold produced by artisanal and small-scale miners and aggregated by licensed buying centers and aggregators for supply to the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
The statement also assured and allayed fears that the Initiative will safeguard the environment and deploy safer mining practices in order to avoid any form of health and environmental problems.
“PAGMI will deploy safer and more efficient mining and processing technologies across artisanal mining locations across the country, starting with Kebbi and Osun States as the Pilot States with intervention in Kaduna, Zamfara and Niger States to commence immediately after the Pilot.”
However, according to the statement, data from the UN Comtrade showed that 97 tonnes of gold worth $3 billion was illegally smuggled out of Nigeria from 2012 to 2018.
“Using data from UN Comtrade, PAGMI estimates that between 2012-2018, 97 tonnes of gold valued at over $3 billion was illegally smuggled out of Nigeria.”
The statement also disclosed within 24 months efforts between the Solid Minerals Development Fund, Kebbi and Osun States Governments, Ministries of Mines and Steel Development, and Finance, Budget and National Planning brought this change in the gold industry.
“This milestone is the culmination of 24 months of intense efforts between the Solid Minerals Development Fund, Kebbi and Osun States Government, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, and the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning under a Steering Committee led by the Chief of Staff to the President. Professor Ibrahim Gambari”, it pointed.
The statement also made it known that Federal Government could generate an average of $150 million in taxes alone from the gold industry including $25 million in royalties, and $500 million accretion to foreign reserves.
“On a large scale, PAGMI estimates that the Federal Government of Nigeria could realize an annual average of $150 Million in taxes, $25 Million in royalties, and $500 Million accretion to foreign reserves from the integration of artisanal gold mining activities implemented by PAGMI. PAGMI will result in the creation of over 500,000 new mining and formalized jobs, leading to poverty alleviation for more than 1 million households.
“In the next couple of months, PAGMI will scale up across the entire gold mining belt of the country, and agreements have been reached with Thermofisher and Metler Toledo, leading producers of gold testing and weight equipment to equip up to 50 buying centers.
“This milestone is another demonstration of His Excellency, the President’s commitment to economic diversification, rural economies improvement, and job creation”, it added.