Ogah leads Steering Committee to State House, briefs Buhari

The Nigerian Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, led the Steering Committee and Management team of Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative ( PAGMI) to the State House in Abuja, where they briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the progress recorded so far since the committee was inaugurated.

Dr. Ogah was flanked by the Executive Secretary, Solid Mineral Development Fund (SMDF), Hajia Fatima Shinkafi, during the briefing of the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Initiative, to the President.

However, the Abia-born Minister of State for Mines, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah while revealing outcome of the Steering committee meeting with Buhari, in his official facebook page on Wednesday night, said the committee presented the ‘Responsible Gold Mining Framework and Guidance Document’ to the president, highlighting that the document is aimed to help PAGMI and other companies improve and manage their responsible sourcing and Environment, Economic, Social, and Governance (EESG) performance, finalized based on consultations with PAGMI. 

According to him, “the framework aims to cultivate an effective and transparent gold supply chain while demonstrating efforts to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, human rights abuses, and respecting the environment.

“The responsible sourcing toolkit is a document developed as a multi-stakeholder initiative on responsible supply chain management of gold focusing on risk-based due diligence based upon globally accepted standards such as LBMA, OECD, etc. 

“This toolkit has been developed to help guide companies by providing useful checklists, questionnaires and assist them to eventually report on their commitments, due diligence processes, and actions related to responsible sourcing of gold in the entire value chain”.

On the President’s response during the meeting with the Steering Committee and Management Team of the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Initiative, Ogah quoted President Buhari as admonishing the team to scale up operations in the mining sector by ensuring that investments go beyond artisanal and small scale levels.

Ogah partly said, “the President also affirmed his support for the Steering Committee’s target of aggregating 3-5 tons of gold over the next 12 months, as this will deliver tremendous fiscal and economic benefits to the nation.

“The Solid Minerals Development Fund should work with all relevant Government agencies to identify the support and funding needed to deliver on this aggregation target”.