The federal government of Nigeria has commended Heritage Bank for being part of a valuable private sector collaboration with Dukia Gold & Precious Metals Refining Co. Limited, saying the partnership will create new opportunities for Nigeria to grow its potential reserves of 200 million ounces of gold.
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, disclosed this during a virtual meeting at the launch of nationwide Dukia-Heritage Bank Gold & Precious Metals Buying Centres held yesterday
He affirmed that the launch of the project would enable Nigeria to mine reserves properly, trade responsibly, refine locally and boost the nation’s foreign reserves.
“What we are looking at here is an extremely valuable new source of trade, jobs and foreign exchange.
“This project will create primary employment for local artisanal miners and mining cooperatives, and across the solid minerals value chain. Off-take agreements between Dukia Gold and local mining communities and owners of recyclable gold will be a useful provider of jobs in our post-covid economy.
“The positive multiplier is expected to extend even further than this as the Dukia Gold project will also encourage the emergence of smaller-scale mining companies who, for the first time, will now have a transparent and welcoming market for their mined gold and precious metals. This is set to create jobs and unleash the economic potential of mining communities,” a statement quoted him to have said.
Osinbajo further counted the enormous benefits of the project, saying: “This provides a sustainable way for Nigerians to exchange their gold jewelry and other precious items for cash. “This system of exchange not only helps encourage a culture of recycling, but will also serve as a complementary source for the raw materials needed for the Dukia Gold & Precious Metals Refining Company. These buying centres will also enable the responsible management of some of electronic waste.”
The initiative is expected to further drive the diversification of the nation’s economy.
It is expected to grow the mining industry’s contribution to gross domestic products to over 10 per cent by 2026.
Commenting on the partnership, MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo, said it would boost the mining industry production and contribute immensely to the transformation of Nigeria’s economy.
According to him, the operationalisation of the initiative aligns with the overall economic transformation agenda of the federal government, especially as it relates to the full stream diversification of the Nigerian economy, job and wealth creation, development of the solid mineral space amongst others.
Sekibo affirmed, “It is our believe that as the economy of Nigeria is being recalibrated, given the impact of the global pandemic, the government’s committed aspiration to build a robust and resilient economy will be further enhanced through the operationalisation of this initiative working with all stakeholders across states and government parastatals, the central bank, private sector and other international actors towards the development of the solid minerals sector and its appendages.”