PAGMI briefs President Buhari, presents framework

President Muhammadu Buhari (middle), flanked on his immediate right the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, Minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, the Executive Secretary, Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF), Hajia Fatima Shinkafi, Executive Director, SMDF, Mr. Andrew Osogbo and the Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary of SMDF, at the briefing.

The Steering Committee of the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI) today Wednesday December 29, 2021, briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the activities of the Initiative. The Committee also presented the ‘Responsible Gold Mining Framework and Guidance Document’ to the president.

The Committee, which was led by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah also had the Executive Secretary/CEO of PAGMI, Hajiya Fatima Shinkafi who doubles as the Chief Executive Officer of the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF).

The policy document named, ‘Responsible Gold Mining Framework and Guidance Document,’ detailed the action plan of the Initiative.

PAGMI Steering Committee also presented documents on Responsible Sourcing Guidelines for Gold Buying Centres and Cooperatives, as well as Responsible Sourcing Toolkit for PAGMI Suppliers.

It could be recalled that in mid June 2021, PAGMI boosted Nigeria’s foreign reserve as it presented the first artisanally mined gold bar valued at 268 million Naira, to President Muhammadu Buhari.

At the ceremony in June, the Chairman of PAGMI and Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari received a dummy cheque of N268.6m from the Central Bank Governor for PAGMI’s maiden gold bar of 12.5kg.

The President disclosed that efforts are being made to support artisanal miners in improving the standard of the gold that would be sold to the Central Bank, in order to ensure that they meet international benchmarks.

He said the gold-buying program of the Central Bank will ensure that artisanal miners are no longer subjected to the volatility in gold prices that occur in the absence of credible off-takers, which often results to significant losses in the value of gold sold by miners.

Further discussing the advantages of PAGMI, the president said: ‘It will also improve economic activities in our rural communities,’ adding that about 250,000 jobs would be created from improved gold mining operations.

He assured Nigerians that government would continue to do its best to promote policies and programs that engender economic growth and jobs creation.

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