APA-Abuja (Nigeria) Gold is yet to make any meaningful impact on the Nigerian economy as only six tonnes of Nigerian gold have traded internationally since 2016, the country’s Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Abubakar Bwari, has said.
Giving account of his stewardship in the last two years on Monday in Abuja, the minister said that a lot of gold left the shores of the country over the years without royalty paid on them.
According to him, the recent seizures of gold by security agencies at Nigerian Airports have made the Federal Government to reorganise the gold sector.
“After carefully considering the role precious metals and minerals play in the economy of nations, this administration found it expedient to re-organise the gold sector without any delay,’’ he said.
He said that the ministry had developed a draft gold policy that would facilitate development of the entire gold value chain of the country.
The minister of state said that the policy was aimed at eliciting formal gold production, regulate trade and document exports and to check the irregularity in the sector that had caused huge losses to the national economy.
Bwari said that the ministry also initiated a National Gold Purchase Scheme to promote production, aggregation and refining of Nigerian gold for purchase by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He said the approval for the development and implementation of the scheme by the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF) was one of the major outcomes of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Focus Labs.
Bwari said the projections of the scheme would guarantee the formal employment of 50 percent of the 110,000 artisanal gold mining workforce in Nigeria.
“An estimated 250,000 jobs will be created by extension in other sectors that will service the organised gold supply chain, the projected production is 175,000 ounces (5,469 kilograms) of refined gold bullion in the first year.
“The projected earnings in the gold sub-sector shall increase by N53 billion and boost the solid minerals sector’s contribution to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 80 percent.
He said that the pilot phase of the National Gold Purchase Scheme would be inaugurated in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State by President, Muhammadu Buhari later in the month.
This article provided by NewsEdge.