The federal government has expressed its commitment to continue to improve the diversification of the economy by steadily growing other sectors particularly the commodities trading ecosystem.
The assurance was given by the minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed during the presentation of Gold coin by the Lagos Futures and Commodities Exchange in Abuja, at the weekend.
Ahmed expressed her pleasure at the presentation as she stated that it is one of the results of the federal government’s commitment in continuing to improve efforts at diversifying the economy.
She said: “this is really very pleasing for me because we have been trying to improve the diversification of the Nigerian economy.
“People say we need to diversify the economy, but the Nigerian economy is truly diversified. Our GDP today has 6.4 per cent contribution from the oil and gas sector, so 94.6 per cent of the Nigerian economy is from other sectors. One of the sectors that we have been trying to activate the full potentials is the mining sector.
“The mining sector today is still very small, but that is on the side of government. But in the private sector and now I am glad in the states, there is very active mining activities that is taking place. Unfortunately, until now, we have not been getting the full value of the mining activities.
Mining activities have been largely artisanal, there is a lot of participants that take out our minerals without reporting it, without government or even the miners getting full value for it.”
The minister stated that in a bid to get the full value of mining activities in the country, the President approved and setting up of the Presidential Gold Mining Scheme with the Solid Minerals Development Agency leading.
She disclosed that the scheme, even though it was started by the federal government has seen refineries beginning to actually work in Nigeria, adding that there is one in Ilesha, Segilola which was the first refinery that was licensed in Nigeria.
According to Ahmed, this gold is now being mined in Nigeria, refined in Nigeria up to the point of producing bullions and then off taken by the CBN and other organisations like the LCFE. They are also coming forward to facilitate the trading of gold in the commodities exchange in Nigeria.
Also, director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Lamido Yuguda commended the federal government on their determination to bequeath a vibrant commodities sector.
He stated that, “LCFE is into a number of commodities and gold is just one of them. They have worked hard in this gold sector. This gold is 100 per cent Nigerian gold, mined and refined in Nigeria and I am happy that we have your support in this.”
Also speaking, managing director of LCFE, Mr. Akin Akeredolu-Ale expressed appreciation to the SEC for all the regulatory support the Commission has provided in recent times.
Akeredolu-Ale stated that Nigeria is a commodities country, but has a large potential that is untapped so far and solicited the support of the National Assembly in passing the Investments and Securities Bill which will bring about massive development in the sector.