The Federal Government of Nigeria (the “FGN”) has announced that Nigeria will soon commence gold refining having issued the first Gold Refining Licence. This was disclosed by the Minister of Budget and National Planning – Senator Udo Udoma (the "Minister”) – speaking at the 24th Nigerian Economic Summit last week.
With large deposits and reserves spread across several parts of the North-west and the South-west of Nigeria and other smaller occurrences, gold has proven to be a strategic mineral in Nigeria. The growth of gold refining in Nigeria also represents another source of revenue diversification for the FGN as it is estimated that Nigeria loses about US$40 billion annually in unexploited gold.
The Minister also disclosed that the FGN has been able to accelerate the development of the National Gold Development Policy and the establishment of a Federal Gold Reserve Scheme in Nigeria in pursuance of its economic diversification programme. The details of the National Gold Development Policy and the Federal Gold Reserve Scheme are yet to be made public, but it is expected that these steps would impact positively on the development of Nigeria’s mining industry – which has an estimated commercial value that runs into trillions of Dollars.
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