President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI) to scale up operations in the mining sector by ensuring that investments go beyond artisanal and small scale levels.
Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, in a statement on Wednesday, quoted Buhari as giving the charge.
- Stop the killings of traditional rulers in Imo
- Things you need to know about Jose Peseiro, Super Eagles manager
Adesina said this during a briefing by the Steering Committee and Management Team of the PAGMI at the State House, Abuja.
He said Buhari directed the Initiative to provide a six-month progress report on the Solid Minerals Development Fund designed to capture accruals from investments, to further ensure probity and best practice in the mining sector.
“I support the steering committee’s target of aggregating 3-5 tons of gold over the next 12 months as this will deliver tremendous fiscal and economic benefits to the nation.
“The Solid Minerals Development Fund should work with all relevant Government agencies to identify the support and funding needed to deliver on this aggregation target.
“Now that you’ve successfully delivered a pilot scheme in Kebbi State, it’s time to roll out and expand sustainably across other states. The government is committed to providing all the necessary support required,” the president was quoted to have said.
He urged the PAGMI to ensure that the Solid Minerals Development Fund fast-tracks delivery of other directives to support the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogar, said $5bn in gold was smuggled out of Nigeria between 2012 and 2018.