We opened up a new perspective for Nigerian gold investors – Adegbite
Women provided 60% of employment in processing and purchasing centers
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite, revealed on Tuesday that the federal government has opened a new prospect for Nigerian investors, including foreign investors in the gold sector in the mining sector in under the Presidential Initiative for the Development of Artisanal Gold Mines, PAGMI.
Adegbite made this known during an interactive media session held at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja, where he said it was high time to take advantage of opportunities in the gold trade as much has been done to make gold. sector a new haven of profitability that is purely focused on the private sector.
He also added that with the surge in the price of gold in the international market, which is currently around $ 2,000 an ounce and projections also indicate that by 2021 it will reach $ 3,000. ounce, which no Nigerian businessman should miss.
He pointed out that the value chain is massive, including licenses for gold refineries, processing centers and purchasing centers are all open to the private sector, with which the country’s gold belt is heavily endowed, and five states are currently participating in the pilot project, and that two companies have obtained licenses for the gold refinery and construction has started in Ogun and Abuja respectively, and others will be issued to interested companies, and said the Bank Central Nigeria, CBN, is the current acquirer, and other companies may also withdraw gold.
He said, “So basically what this gives us is that in the future we don’t have to take the gold out of the country to refine it like we did this time around. was refined in Turkey. These two refineries which have obtained the certification to be able to produce this type of ingots then the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, can buy.
“Essentially as part of our mandate to create jobs for our people from the value chain that I mentioned; refinery, purchasing centers will of course create jobs.
“In addition, the artisanal miners who take out this gold will also be better counted because they get better compensation for their earnings, thus encouraging others. Through this process, create jobs while generating revenue for the government. How do we do that?
“Besides the small fees and taxes collected by the government, it is also a way for the country to earn foreign exchange without having to sell crude oil like in the past, but thanks to it gold is very popular today.” hui, since yesterday gold has almost hit $ 2,000 an ounce. and is on the rise, and people are even speculating that gold could reach $ 3,000.
“This should be taken care of by the initiative of the private sector. The government proved that it was possible and chose a state like in the pilot. We encourage individuals and make Nigerians interested in mining, and we can invest our money in mining and of course reap bountiful rewards.
“A lot of people put their money in gold. What this does for Nigeria is that CBN acquires the LBMA naira bullion, and of course that adds to our foreign exchange reserves. So we don’t have to sell crude oil to increase our reserves, we can add to our foreign reserves from our gold which is mined in Nigeria.
“We already have investors who have expressed interest and obtained licenses and of course the place is still open for more people to get into the business, come to the ministry, you can be part of the process as that Ministry approved shopping center once you meet the obligations and of course responsible funding is very important.
The minister also added that the ministry was already fulfilling its mandate of diversifying the economy from oil and gas to solid minerals, of which Gold is the leader and other industrial minerals.
“It’s fulfilling our mandate, diversifying from oil and gas, creating jobs for people and at the same time generating revenue for government. This is the major mandate of the ministry, ”he said.
Meanwhile, PAGMI secretary Hajiya Fatima Shinkafi revealed that 60% of jobs in processing and purchasing centers will be reserved for women, and artisanal miners will also be engaged in best practices.
According to Shinkafi, artisanal miners will participate in the program, which will reduce the problem of smuggling the goods.
She added that an American company known to the world will equip the purchasing centers with state-of-the-art equipment, and that the production, processing and purchase of gold is a purely private matter.
She said: “The main policy is to empower artisanal miners and give them a better value for what they are doing, right now it is poverty that makes their living and they are doing it blindly.
“No one went to school to teach an artisanal miner. I think it was born out of poverty and necessity. So it can be a hopeless thing and it has its negative side effects.
“The policy aims to limit the negative ramifications that arise from artisanal mining. I have to make a distinction here; artisanal mining is not illegal mining. There are illegal and artisanal miners. It’s a subtle distinction, but it does exist.
“So 30% that we’ve recorded so far are women on the first badge in pilot states, and we’re including women at the final stage processing level at the sales and entrepreneurship levels.
“We have deliberately adopted a policy that at least 60% of the people who will be employed in these processing and purchasing centers will be women.
“On market share, we came in at $ 3 billion over six years. We’re looking at a little over 50% intervention. We plan to produce 3 tonnes of gold by the end of this year and around 10 tonnes the following year. “