The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, says it will soon conclude work on a gold policy to give backing to gold processing and refinery in the country.
The Permanent Secretary Dr Abdulkadir Muazu, disclosed this while inaugurating the ministry’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan delivery unit on Thursday in Abuja, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
Muazu said with the policy in place, companies would be able to set up gold processing centres in Nigeria, while adding value to the economy.
To this end, he stated that a licence had been given to Kian Smith Trading Company to establish a gold processing centre in Nigeria.
According to him, granting the licence is sequel to the Federal Government’s directive for the company to commence gold purchasing and processing in the country.
He said the company would soon commence operation, adding that it would be buying raw gold from artisanal and small-scale miners, and process them locally.
Muazu stated that the ministry had also inaugurated six core members, comprising directors in line with one of the mandates assigned to the ministry under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
According to him, the Federal Government assigned two major areas, Solid Minerals Development Fund, and Gold Purchase Programme under the ERGP.
“The Gold purchase programme and the SMDF were areas assigned to our ministry and we have commenced actions on these two areas to meet the ERGP programme timeframe,’’ he said.
On the SMDF, he said that the ministry established it as a parastatal in 2017 to serve as an economic programme interface on behalf of the ministry and investors in order to grow the sector.
Muazu said the SMDF was meant to assist operators to access funds and to facilitate the ministry’s activities.
According to him, a committee headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has set up a ministerial delivery unit to give updates to implementation unit under the Presidency on the progress made on areas assigned to the each MDA concerned.
He said in line with this new development, the six core members would be giving progress reports on the two programmes under the ERGP on a weekly basis to the implementation unit.
NAN recalls that the Federal Government released the ERGP in 2017.
The ERGP, a medium term plan for 2017 to 2020, is meant to build on the Strategic Implementation Plan, developed for the 2016 budget.
The objectives of the ERGP are to restore economic growth, build a globally competitive economy and invest in Nigerians by driving social inclusion, job creation, youth empowerment and improved human capital.
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