The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udo Udoma, said in Abuja on Monday that the Federal Government would also commence the purchase of gold from local refiners.
Speaking at the ongoing 24th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, Udoma said: "As an outcome of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan Focus Labs, we have also been able to accelerate the development of the National Gold Development Policy and the establishment of a Federal Gold Reserve Scheme in Nigeria.
"Today, I am happy to report that the first gold refining licence has been issued to a company called Kian Smith Limited, which was one of the companies that participated in the labs.
“Indeed, the Federal Government is finalising modalities to purchase gold from local refineries via a Federal Gold Reserve Scheme subject to international standards, such as the London Bullion Market Association.”
The report by Nigeria’s Punch newspaper on Tuesday quoted the minister as saying that this accelerated development of the National Gold Development Policy by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, and the progress recorded in implementing the Federal Gold Reserve Scheme by the Central Bank of Nigeria are direct solutions to issues presented by investors at the ERGP Focus Labs.
He explained that the government conducted sector-specific focus labs, with the objective of addressing any bureaucratic issue investors might face in setting up projects in Nigeria.
Udoma added as part of the lab process, the government was able to assist Brass Fertiliser and Petrochemical Development Company in obtaining expedited issuance of various approvals that were required by its financiers from multiple government agencies.
The minister stated that during the labs, investors interested in agriculture were assisted to obtain farming land from some state governments, adding that a local automobile assembly in Imo State, Autodex Limited was being supported to double its capacity for the production of farm tractors.
Commenting on the theme of this year’s economic summit, ‘Poverty to Prosperity: Making Governance and Institutions Work’, Udoma stated that it had provided another opportunity for the government to examine the progress being made in the achievement of the programmes, policies and objectives of the ERGP.