Nigeria to generate additional 250,000 jobs, $500m from gold mining annually —Buhari

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari says improved gold mining operations in the country will generate no fewer than 250,000 jobs and over $500 million annually in royalties and taxes to the Federal Government. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), The president disclosed this at the official presentation of locally mined gold bars by the residential  Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMDI), at the Presidential Villa,  Abuja, on Thursday.

President Buhari, therefore, reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to establishing gold refineries in Nigeria. He said this laudable initiative would support efforts at creation of jobs for Nigerians, diversifying the revenue base, and improving foreign exchange reserves.

While reiterating the determination of the Federal Government to combat illegal mining activities, the president expressed concern that Nigeria lost close to $3 billion from 2012 to 2018 due to illegal smuggling of 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.

‘‘These operations will help in diversifying our revenue base. The sale of gold by artisanal miners and SMEs at accredited centres will help the government in realising royalties and taxes from the sale of these assets. ‘‘These developments will also help in improving our foreign reserves by enabling the Central Bank of Nigeria to increase the amount of gold in its reserves.

‘‘These gold assets which will be purchased in naira, will not only help to bolster our international reserves, it will also provide a hedge against inflation and other economic volatilities associated with foreign currencies that are held in our reserves,’’ the President said. President Buhari noted that in addition to the potential revenue gains that will occur from mining operations, efforts are being made to enable the setting up of gold refineries in Nigeria.

He expressed optimism that these measures would lead to the creation of additional job opportunities across the gold value chain and also help the nation capture the additional value created from the gold refining process.

On environmental degradation, Buhari pledged that government would pay close attention to safety and environmental measures to protect workers and the environment.

The president also used the occasion to commend all stakeholders involved in the PAGMI for their painstaking efforts in developing a programme aimed at improved sourcing and refining of high-quality gold bars, derived from minefields in Nigeria.

The President recalled that the PAGMI, which was launched in 2019, was well-timed, considering the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and indeed on the Nigerian economy. He said the impact of COVID-19 and the containment measures designed to slow the spread of the virus, had led to a slowdown in global growth, which is projected to decline into negative territory for the first time since the Great Depression.

‘‘It has also led to a 40 per cent drop in crude oil prices. In Nigeria, the drop in crude oil prices has had a significant impact n government revenue, as well as on our foreign exchange earnings. ‘‘In responding to this challenge, it is therefore paramount that we strengthen our efforts at implementing policies and programs that will enable a greater diversification of the Nigerian economy. ‘‘Enabling investment in the Solid Mineral sector is a key part of the government’s economic diversification program.

‘‘Given our current estimated gold reserves of over 200m ounces, most of which have not been exploited, developing sustainable programmes that will catalyse increased investment in the extraction and refining of gold sourced from mines in Nigeria, is indeed vital,’’ he said.

 

YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

Commissioners of education of the six South-West states of the country have expressed readiness to sit their respective Senior Secondary School three (SSS3) students for the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination… Read Full Story
The Federal Government, on Wednesday, insisted that its decision not to allow the reopening of schools because of the coronavirus pandemic remains unchanged as it maintains that it is not confident about the safety of students at this time… Read Full Story
Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has charged the people of Southern Kaduna to be united as the crisis in the area is portraying the place as unsafe for development and investment… Read Full Story
The Twitter accounts of some of the US most prominent political and business leaders, from Barack Obama and Joe Biden to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, were hacked Wednesday afternoon in an apparent effort to promote a Bitcoin scam, Bloomberg reports… Read Full Story
You might also like
Comments

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. AcceptRead More