Nigeria goes gold – crude oil is running wild these days. So, let us go all the way, and seek alpha from aurum. But do not open your bottle of zobo for celebration, gold will not save Nigeria. Nigeria’s problem is not lack of money but lack of vision. Go to Osogbo, Kano, Owerri, Jos, Yobe and Uyo, and ask anyone where Nigeria is going, you would be surprised that no one knows. Oh thou gracious heaven, the sun rises and sets!
But during the effervescence of the spark of leadership – the days of Sam Mbakwe, Lateef Jakande, etc – the citizens knew where the governments were taking them. Mbakwe would wake up, address Imolites and remind them that from tomorrow, they would receive slips to make donations to the state government, for a new palm plantation, power station etc. He would remind school kids to ask their parents for money to help build poultry farms, etc. Everyone knew that Jakande was for universal education irrespective of your abode in Lagos state.
Today, raise your hand if you know where your state or federal government is taking you in Nigeria? We are sure of one thing in Nigeria: the sun will rise and set. Any other thing is siddon-look. Mining gold will not change that. Nigeria needs to build mines of knowledge.
Nigeria has produced, for the first time ever, in June 2020, artisanally-mined gold that has been processed and refined according to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) standards required for the use of gold as a reserve instrument by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
This means that the Central Bank will be purchasing gold that has been mined, processed and refined under the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative for use as part of Nigeria’s external reserves.
The first batch of artisanally-mined gold bars to be purchased by the Central Bank will be unveiled at a presentation ceremony to President Buhari in July 2020. This milestone is a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to diversifying Nigeria’s economy and foreign reserves.
This milestone is the culmination of 24 months of intense efforts between the Solid Minerals Development Fund, Kebbi and Osun States Government, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, and the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning under a Steering Committee led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.