Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday said the launch of Dukia Gold and Precious Metals Refining Refining Company has opened a new vista for job creation, trade and foreign exchange (forex) earnings for the country.
He spoke during a virtual meeting via Zoom where the project was launched.
He noted that the project, the first of its kind in the country and West Africa, offers opportunities for artisanal miners, and traders in gold and precious metals to have a better deal through swapping their gold for money with a technical support of Heritage Bank through their ‘Heritage Bank Centres’.
“It is said Nigeria has potential reserves of 200 million ounces of gold and the launch of this expansive project, Dukia Gold, creates the opportunities for us to mine these reserves properly, trade responsibly and refine locally. What we are looking at here is an extremely valuable new source of trade,jobs and foreign exchange,” he said.
He said the project would create primary employment for local artisanal miners and mining co-operatives 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,” Osinbajo said.
Osinbajo noted that the multiplier effect of the company is expected to extend further as the firm will also encourage the emergence of smaller-scale mining firms which for the first time will 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. With this project, we are also commissioning the nationwide Dukia-Heritage Bank Gold and Precious Metals Buying centres-part of a valuable private sector collaboration. This provides a sustainable way for Nigerians to exchange their gold jewellery and other precious items for cash,’’ he added