As part of its economic diversification drive, the federal government of Nigeria on Monday said it has issued the first gold refining license in the country.
Speaking at the ongoing 24th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) in Abuja, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, said the development was one of the outcomes of Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Focus Labs.
Udoma said the government issued the license to Kian Smith Limited, adding that the ERGP plan has achieved its objective as it was conceived primarily to get the nation’s economy out of recession.
“As an outcome of the ERGP 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 minister said.
He added that a local automobile assembly in Imo State, Autodex Limited, was being supported to double its capacity for the production of farm tractors.
The NES is an annual event that brings together chief executives/top level operators from the private sector and very senior Government officials to discuss how best to develop the Nigerian economy and monitor the progress that is being made.
The main focus of the summit is the short to medium term policy direction while giving priority to the national interest in the context of the evolving global economy.
This year’s edition was themed “Poverty to Prosperity”, it commenced yesterday (Monday) and it is expected to end today (Tuesday), October 23, 2018.