“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 said on Thursday.
“These operations will help in diversifying our revenue base.”
Buhari said the sale of gold by artisanal miners and SMEs at accredited centers will help the government in realising royalties and taxes from the sale of these assets.
He said 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.
The artisanally-mined gold was processed and refined according to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) standards.
CBN has now purchased the 12.5kg bar of gold at the rate of N268 million for use as part of Nigeria’s external reserves, with a cheque presented a Cheque for that amount to the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative
PAGMI is a comprehensive artisanal and small-scale gold mining development programme, launched in 2019 to foster the formalization and integration of artisanal gold mining activities into Nigeria’s legal, economic, and institutional framework.
Buhari approved PAGMI in 2019 to address the issues of illegal smuggling of gold out of the country and foster the integration of artisanal gold mining into the formal system.
The initiative was designed to integrate social, environmental, health and safety, economic, commercial, and technical considerations, into its implementation.
It was also signed as a broader strategy to address the structural and institutional factors such as rural poverty, lack of alternative livelihoods, and difficulties in meeting legal and regulatory requirements that tend to push artisanal gold mining operators deeper into the informal economy.
The main gold producing belt with history of artisanal workings and exploration activities in Nigeria will benefit from PAGMI.
Intervention at artisanal mining sites will take place in Kebbi, Kaduna, Zamfara, Niger, and Osun states with Kebbi and Osun States serving as the pilot states.