Nigeria's gold sales boost foreign reserves by $5 million

Nigeria's gold sales boost foreign reserves by $5 million


The Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, on Sunday said Nigeria had increased its foreign exchange reserves by $5 million through the sale of gold.

“I am pleased to report that the National Gold Purchase Programme aimed at increasing our nation’s reserves and enhancing the value of the Naira is making significant progress,” Alake said in a post on X.

He said the conglomerate of over 70 kilograms of refined gold, which met the London Precious Metals Market Good Delivery Standard, and locally mined gold, had injected about 6 billion naira into the Nigerian economy.

According to the World Gold Council (WGC), Nigeria's gold reserves remained unchanged at 21.37 tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2023 from 21.37 tonnes in the third quarter of 2023.

In its reserves report, the WGC noted that Nigeria’s gold reserves averaged 21.37 tonnes from 2000 to 2023, reaching a record high of 21.46 tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2020 and a record low of 21.37 tonnes in the second quarter of 2000.

Alake said the gold sale “marks the first commercial transaction under the National Gold Purchase Programme (NGPP), a centralised off-take scheme supported by a decentralised aggregation and production network of artisanal and small-scale miners and cooperatives.”

The minister presented the gold bar to President Bola Tinubu in Abuja.

Alake noted that the gold bars were sourced from artisanal and small-scale miners and refined by the Solid Minerals Development Fund, an agency under the ministry.

He said government authorities had met the London Bullion Market Association's fair delivery criteria for the bullion being sold to the Central Bank of Nigeria to boost its foreign exchange reserves.

In April 2024, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealed that Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves had fallen to $32.12 billion from $34.45 billion as of March 18, 2024. The reserves had fallen by $2.33 billion in 31 days.

CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso said the decline in reserves was not due to efforts to defend the naira but due to debt repayments and other general financial obligations.

Source: guardian.ng

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