28 July 2020 By Georgina Humphrey, Abuja.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, says plans have been concluded with foreign experts to train forty Nigerians in the art of Gold Jewellery making to boost the nation’s economy.
Mr. Adegbite stated this while briefing newsmen on the recently launched Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative ,PAGMI, in Abuja.
He explained that the essence was to add value to the country`s gold, create employment and boost the economy in line with Federal Government’s economy diversification programme.
Adegbite said the trained Nigerians would be training the trainers who will also train others across the federation.
The minister added that apart from the gold itself, the government is also looking at turning gold to Jewellery.
PAGMI is a comprehensive artisanal and small scale gold mining development programme.
The initiative which was recently launched, was to foster the formalisation and integration of artisanal gold mining activities into the country`s legal, economic, and institutional framework.
Adegbite said that the initiative was designed to integrate social, environmental health and safety, economic, commercial, and technical considerations.
The minister, however, called on interested investors to invest in the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI).
He is optimism that because government was a continuum, the initiative would outlive the present administration.
Adegbite stressed that the underlining principle of every government project should be the impact it had on the people and the benefits so derived.
The minister of state mines and steel development, Mr. Uchechukwu Ofah explained that its regulatory framework would be strengthened.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary Solid Minerals Development Fund and Secretary PAGMI, Hajiya Fatima Shinkafi, said the initiative was aimed at formalising the value chain from the artisanal miners’ perspective.
Hajia Shinkafi stressed that the initiative would ensure value addition to both the private sector investors and government as well as increase the country`s foreign reserve.
According to her, Osun and Kebbi has been approved as pilot states for the initiative while bio-metric exercise has been carried out in the states.
PAGMI Secretary, said about fifty gold buying centres were established across the country at the moment, while efforts were on to equip them.