VP’s Remarks At Commissioning Of Dukia – Heritage Bank Gold And Precious Metal Buying Centres
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA AT THE COMMISSIONING OF DUKIA – HERITAGE BANK GOLD AND PRECIOUS METAL BUYING CENTRES ON THE 9TH OF JUNE, 2020.
First, let me apologize for joining you late, I didn’t know traffic was possible on these online meetings as well!
But this is such a special occasion and I think it is absolutely important that that the Federal Government shows its full support and appreciation for the great work that has been done and the commencement of what I am sure is going to be, a landmark opportunity not just for Nigeria, but also for West Africa and indeed the entire region.
The Dukia Gold and Precious Metals Refinery Project was championed by the high commissions of Nigeria and Canada and has been several years in the making, I was told almost about 7 years in the making.
We know already that Nigeria has the potential reserve of almost 200 million ounces of gold, and, of course, most of these had not been previously exploited. So, in many senses, we have had these reserves, opportunities but they were all waiting for refining opportunities such as we have today.
So, what we are looking at here is, an extremely valuable new source of trade, of jobs, and of foreign exchange. The project would create primary employment for local artisanal miners and mining cooperatives and also across the entire solid minerals value chain.
Offtake agreements between Dukia Gold and local mining communities and owners of recyclable gold would be a useful provider of jobs in our post-COVID economy.
The positives multiplier is excepted to extend even further as the Dukia Gold project will encourage the emergence of smaller-scale mining companies who will now have a transparent and welcoming market for their mine golds and precious metals. This will again create jobs, unleash economic opportunities, especially in the mining communities.
Within this project, we are also commissioning the Nation-wide Dukia Heritage Bank Gold and Precious Metals Buying Centres. This is part of a valuable private sector collection opportunity which is also coming on with this project.
The Dukia Heritage Bank Gold and Precious Metals Buying Centres, I personally think is a very important part of this project because It provides a sustainable way for Nigerians to exchange their gold jewellery and other precious items for cash. This system of exchange also helps to encourage a culture of recycling. It would also serve as a complementary source for the raw materials needed for the Dukia Gold and Precious Metals refining company.
The buying centres would also enable the responsible management of some of the electronic waste that would be produced.
As much as possible, the Federal Government will continue to support and ensure that our policies support this sector and support projects such as this one we are launching today.
Some of these policies are already in the pipeline and I am sure the ministers have already shared their thoughts on this and some of the planned ideas and policies with you.
I would also like to commend Heritage Bank for their invaluable support for this project and also for gold mining production refining and trading in Nigeria.
Again, I must commend the management of the Dukia Gold project, I think that this is very innovative; it is the sort of project that want at this time, it is the sort of project that we think would contribute positively, not just for our economic growth, but to some of the groundbreaking ideas and programmes that this administration is trying to put on stream, especially, as we renew our economic direction and as we refocus our economic direction.
I must also commend the effort of the Honorable Minsters of Mines and Steel and the Honorable Minister of State, also, the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the role that they have played in ensuring that this has come to be. I must also commend of course, the High Commissioners of Nigeria, Canada and the United Kingdom and all the foreign missions for providing the enabling environment and support for the actualization of this project.
Once again, it is my very special pleasure to be here and to celebrate with you all as stakeholders on this launch of the Dukia Gold project.
It is, therefore, my very special pleasure and privilege to officially commission this project, the Dukia Gold project.
Thank you very much. God bless you.