Grace Obike, Abuja
THE Federal Government has started the first phase of biometric registration of illegal miners in the country with the flag-off of the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI) in Yauri Local Government Area of Kebbi State.
The initiative was kicked off with support from the Kebbi State government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as part of an on-going process to formalise and integrate artisanal and small scale gold mining activities into the nation’s legal, economic and institutional framework.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, who was represented by the Director, Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ASM), Mr. Patrick Ojeka, said the initiative, apart from empowering the artisanal and small scale miners, i would encourage and promote value addition to the industry.
He said the Federal Government would establish buying centres with the CBN as off taker and also integrate middlemen into the system, which he believed would lead to higher profitability for artisanal miners.
He said the Federal Government is building centralised processing centres with capabilities to produce minerals and enhance beneficiation within the country, leading to reduction in taxes as incentives.