Nigeria Launches National Gold Purchase Programme to Boost Gold Reserves and Strengthen Naira

In a significant move to enhance Nigeria’s gold reserves and strengthen the Naira, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, announced the launch of the National Gold Purchase Programme. The announcement was made during a presentation of gold bars to President Bola Tinubu. Dr. Alake praised the President for his support in reforming the solid minerals sector, which has enabled this milestone achievement.

The gold bars, refined to meet the London Bullion Market Association’s (LBMA) Good Delivery Standard, were sourced from local artisanal and small-scale miners and processed through the Solid Minerals Development Fund. Dr. Alake emphasized that the refined gold will be sold to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), thereby bolstering the nation’s foreign reserves and increasing its fiscal stability.

“The successful completion of the first commercial transaction clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of the National Gold Purchase Programme,” Dr. Alake said. “This initiative not only increases our foreign reserves but also proves that purchasing liquid assets like gold with the Nigerian Naira is a viable strategy for economic stability.” The Minister reported that the first transaction has added over $5 million to Nigeria’s foreign reserves, refined 70+ kilograms of gold to LBMA standards, and injected about 6 billion Naira into the rural economy by aggregating locally mined gold.

President Tinubu, upon receiving the gold bars, lauded the Ministry for its significant contribution to diversifying Nigeria’s economy. “This is a concrete step towards the diversification process under the Renewed Hope Agenda,” he stated, reflecting on the administration’s commitment to broadening the economic base beyond oil dependency.

Fatimah Shinkafi, the Executive Secretary of the Solid Minerals Development Fund, highlighted the importance of the LBMA Gold Delivery Standard, which is globally recognized and essential for the international trade of gold and silver bars. She noted that only bars meeting this stringent standard are accepted in the settlement of Loco London contracts, underscoring the credibility and value of Nigeria’s gold on the global market.

Ms. Shinkafi elaborated on the broader economic benefits of the National Gold Purchase Programme, noting that it places Nigeria among a select group of nations that bolster their gold reserves using local currency. This strategy aims to foster economic confidence, enhance currency stability, and attract foreign investment.

The National Gold Purchase Programme represents a centralized offtake scheme supported by a decentralized network of artisanal and small-scale miners, cooperatives, and aggregators. This network ensures a steady supply of high-quality gold, promoting economic growth and stability in rural areas and the country at large.

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