Nigeria's quest for the diversification of its economy, is gradually bearing fruit and the Nigerian people will be the ultimate beneficiary of this noble move by government.
In 2019, before the advent of covid 19, the Federal government composed a formal association for artisan gold miners, also known as PAGMI (or Presidential Artisanal Gold mining development initiative). The mandate of the association was to develope a program aimed at improving the sourcing and refining of high quality gold bars from Nigerian minefields.
Last Thursday,16th July, 2020 , President Buhari in a ceremony, formally launched the association in Abuja, when it's stakeholders presented the President with a sample 12.5kg high quality gold bar sourced from Nigerian minefields. This high quality gold bar, which meets international standards such as the London bullion market association standard (LBMA), and can be sold anywhere in the world, had since been bought by the CBN.
Gold bars (illustration).
This formal launching of PAGMI, constitute a big boost to the Nigerian youth and entrepreneur, as it has opened up a vast and untill now, untapped segment of the economy.
Nigeria has an estimated gold reserve of 200million gold ounces,most of which have not been explored.
Before PAGMI, illegal mining was the norm, and the country lost close to $3 billion between 2012 to 2018 to the illicit trade in stollen gold.
With the launch of PAGMI, any Nigerian can be a proud owner of a gold mine field, or be the owner of a store/company buying or selling Nigerian gold, or work directly in the minefields as artisans; the opportunities are endless and the rewards, bountiful.
With the current price of gold going for $1638/ounce or $57,795.79/kg ($57.8/g), it's a win-win situation for the enterprising Nigerian youth.
According to online media sources, PAGMI will generate 250,000 direct employment to Nigerians and 500,000 indirect new mining and formalised jobs in the gold mining sector.
To benefit from PAGMI, every interested Nigerian will have to register with the association and subsequently, be issued with a licence which will grant legal status to anyone mining gold in Nigeria.
The summarized benefits of PAGMI are as follows;
The Advantages of PAGMI:
1. The association will register artisans, small scale miners, rural mining communities, registered buying centres as well as interested states and the Federal government.
2. PAGMI will bring about 500,000 new mining and formalised job in the sector.
3. All artisan miners will be issued with national ID cards
4. The CBN will buy back gold from miners to ensure price stability for Nigerian gold miners and discourage illegal smuggling.
5. Government will build gold refineries in Nigeria.
6. Thermo Fisher scientific and Mettler Toledo companies already contracted to install equipments to use in gold testing and weighing.
7. PAGMI will operate in Kebi, Kaduna, Zamfara, Niger and Osun States. Starting with Osun and Kebi States.
During the launch of PAGMI,Abuja.
With this long awaited launch of PAGMI, another avenue has been offered the Nigerian youth to excel. This opportunity can be likened to the 'gold rush' that happened in the early days of the United States of America, where millionaires were made almost overnight at the gold fields.
Although, PAGMI will be located primarily at locations where Gold has been known to exist in commercial quantities in Nigeria, participation is open to all Nigerians.
Do you think PAGMI will make a difference in Nigeria and in the life of Nigerian youth?
Is this the right step for Nigeria to take?
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