The federal government has debunked reports that Zamfara State government was buying gold from artisanal miners in the state and selling same to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
A statement issued by the head, press and Public Relations, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), Etore Thomas, said:
“Though states through their licensed corporate bodies can buy and sell gold to any interested persons or company, it is worthy of note that CBN did not and will not buy gold from Zamfara State government.”
It stressed that under the Nigerian laws, solid minerals remain in the exclusive list such that only the federal government has the right of ownership and exploitation.
“The gold displayed by the Zamfara State government is called dore bars (semiprocessed gold). CBN buys gold that is processed to 99.99 per cent purity which is LBMA standard, tradable all over the world.
“The federal government encourages state governments to be part of the exploitation of minerals in the country by incorporating a limited liability company with which to approach the ministry for a license for Mining or buying centres.