Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, has announced Nigeria’s first gold commercial transaction under the National Gold Purchase Program (NGPP).

It is a centralised offtake scheme supported by a decentralised aggregation and production network of artisanal and small-scale miners and cooperatives, Alake said in a post on his X account on Sunday.

The minister expressed gratitude to President Bola Tinubu for endorsing critical reforms in Nigeria’s solid minerals sector.

Alake emphasised that Tinubu’s support has been instrumental in advancing initiatives such as the National Gold Purchase Programme (NGPP), aimed at boosting the country’s reserves and strengthening the naira.

Speaking during the presentation of the latest gold bar refined by the Solid Minerals Development Fund, Alake highlighted the strategic significance of the gold transaction, which involved artisanal and small-scale miners.

He noted that the refined gold would be sold to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), thereby enhancing foreign reserves.

He said, “Furthermore, I am proud to announce that this first commercial transaction has resulted in a substantial increase of over US$5 million in Nigeria’s foreign reserves assets, the refinement of over 70 kilograms of gold to the London Bullion Market Good Delivery Standard, and the successful aggregation of locally mined gold, injecting around NGN6 billion into the rural economy.”

Alake underscored the success of the NGPP’s inaugural commercial transaction, which demonstrated its effectiveness in increasing foreign reserves and stabilising the Nigerian economy.

He noted that President Tinubu commended the ministry’s achievement, viewing it as a major milestone in diversifying Nigeria’s economy under the Renewed Hope Agenda.

He highlighted the economic benefits of the NGPP, which includes injecting approximately N6 billion into the rural economy through the aggregation of locally mined gold.

Executive Secretary of the Solid Minerals Development Fund, Fatimah Shinkafi, explained the global standards adhered to in refining the gold, emphasising its role in global trade.

She pointed out that Nigeria, through the NGPP, joins select nations in bolstering gold reserves by purchasing in local currency, thereby boosting economic confidence, stabilising the currency, and attracting foreign investment.

The event marks a pivotal step towards leveraging Nigeria’s natural resources for economic growth, aligning with broader national development goals.

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