President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the improved gold mining operations in the country will generate no fewer than 250,000 jobs and over $500m annually in royalties and taxes to the Federal Government.
The President disclosed this on Thursday at an official presentation of locally mined gold bars by the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMDI), where he also reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to establishing gold refineries in Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari at the official presentation of locally mined gold bars by the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMDI), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.
His Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina issued the statement, the President said the initiative would support efforts at creating jobs for Nigerians, diversifying the revenue base, and improving foreign exchange reserves.
‘‘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."
On environmental degradation, President Buhari pledged that the government would pay close attention to safety and environmental measures to protect workers and the environment.
‘‘ 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 federal government priority is currently anchored in the gold sector and through the ongoing Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Initiative (PAGMI) we are organising, formalising, and equipping Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Miners (ASGMs) in Kaduna, Kebbi, Osun, Niger and Zamfara States."
He 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 said that the government should pay close attention to protecting workers and the environment.
TheCable had reported how Chinese miners were polluting the water supply of some residents of the federal capital territory (FCT) with the protection of the police.
The Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari administration's plan to diversify the economy, saying its approach to diversification is one-sided
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