Executive secretary, solid minerals development fund, Fatima Shinkafi has said with the launch of the gold purchase programme, the diversification agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari is moving at a fast speed .
Recall that Nigeria has produced, for the first time ever, artisanally-mined gold that has been processed and refined according to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) standards required for the use of gold as a reserve instrument by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
This means that the Central Bank will be purchasing gold that has been mined, processed and refined under the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative for use as part of Nigeria’s external reserves.
According to Shinkafi, with the launch, the vision is now established for the country because she now knows where she is going.
She said: “We have started a good journey towards improving the economy and we are moving at a very fast speed.
“I hope that this will translate into a better life, most importantly for the households that we intend to impact in terms of making better standards of living for individual families that we are supporting directly and indirectly with the artisanal miners.
“Also, it is very important that I mention that the private sector should not feel that this is going to crowd them out because government intends to have that persona in terms of our project. “
“So, this is supposed to encourage private-sector-led investment. They have a space to participate in PAGMI and the laws and regulations are there. We will sensitize people together with the Ministry and the States, who have been very supportive as well.
“So in terms of what next, we hope to expand this and make the success of this pilot even bigger than this,” she added.