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Dele Alake presents gold bars to Tinubu, says first transaction added $5m to foreign reserves

Dele Alake, minister of solid minerals development, has presented refined gold bars to President Bola Tinubu, saying the first transaction of the commodity added $5 million to Nigeria’s external reserves.

In a statement on Sunday by Segun Tomori, the minister’s special assistant on media, Alake said the refined gold will be sold to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to bolster foreign reserves.

According to the statement, the gold bars presented to Tinubu were sourced from artisanal and small gold miners and refined by the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF) to meet the London Bullion Market Association’s good delivery standard over the weekend.

He told the president that the event marked the first commercial transaction under the national gold purchase program (NGPP), a centralised offtake scheme supported by a decentralised aggregation and production network of artisanal and small-scale miners and cooperatives.

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Alake said the transaction delivered a $5 million increase in Nigeria’s foreign reserves assets, 70 plus kilograms of gold refined to the London Bullion Market good delivery standard, and a successful aggregation of locally mined gold, thereby injecting about N6 billion into the rural economy.

“The successful completion of the first commercial transaction clearly demonstrates the National Gold Purchase Program’s effectiveness,” the minister said.

“It has increased the nation’s foreign reserves assets and shown that using the Nigerian Naira to purchase a liquid asset traded in United States Dollars, such as gold, is a viable strategy.

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“This transaction has also underscored the potential of the National Gold Purchase Program to enhance fiscal and monetary stability.”

Alake commended Tinubu for supporting reforms in the solid minerals sector, assuring that the NGPP will increase the country’s reserve and boost the naira’s value.

Receiving the gold bars, Tinubu also lauded the ministry for achieving a major milestone in the administration’s drive to diversify the economy.

“This is another concrete step towards the diversification process under the Renewed Hope Agenda” the president said.

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In her remarks, Fatimah Shinkafi, executive secretary of the solid minerals development fund, said the London Bullion Market good delivery standard is the globally recognised stringent and trusted standard that enables the global trade in gold and silver bars.

“Only gold and silver bars that meet our Good Delivery standards are acceptable in the settlement of a Loco London contract – where the bullion traded is physically held in London” she said.

Shinkafi said through the efforts of the NGPP, Nigeria has joined a select group of countries that support their gold reserves by purchasing gold in local currency.

She said the initiative aims to foster economic confidence, enhance currency stability, and create a more attractive environment for foreign investment.

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