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The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, has said the Presidential Artisanal and Gold Mining Initiative (PAGMI) could fetch Nigeria $675 million yearly (about N261.9 billion) as 400 trading centres have already been registered for licit transaction.

Adegbite who stated this during an interactive session in Abuja yesterday, gave the breakdown of the expected revenue drive to include, an annual average of $150m in taxes, $25m in royalties and $500m accretion to foreign reserves, by integrating artisanal gold mining activities.

He said, “Using a Centralized Offtake and Supply System supported by a Decentralized Aggregation and Production network, PAGMI’ will buy all the gold produced by artisanal and Small-scale miners and aggregated by licensed buying centres and aggregators for supply to the Central Bank of Nigeria.”The minister further stated that currently Nigeria has two gold refineries in ogun state and Abuja with the one in Ogun near completion. He further stated that there are 400 buying centers across the country which have been registered biometrically were gold are sourced and sold responsibly.

Chair of the Solid Minerals Development Fund and Executive Secretary of PAGMI, Hajiya Fatima Shinkafi, said the initiative would harness three tonnes of gold this year and 10 tonnes in subsequent years.

She said Nigeria will benefit from PAGMI intervention at artisanal mining sites at Kaduna, Zamfara ,Niger and Osun states with Kebbi and Osun states in the pilot phase.