The Federal Government has begun the registration of artisanal miners, following the commencement of the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative Bio-metric Exercise.
The registration exercise was flagged off in Yauri Local Government Area of Kebbi State on February 22.
According to a report by the PUNCH, The exercise, which is supported by the Central Bank of Nigeria, is in line with a plan to formalize and integrate artisanal and small-scale gold mining activities in the country.
As part of the program, the CBN will buy up gold produced by Nigerian miners at international price, in a bid to stop smuggling and exploitation of local miners by foreign merchants.
The Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative is a support program for Nigerian gold miners, with Kebbi and Osun states serving as pilot states.
Speaking while inaugurating the project, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, said the initiative would empower Nigerian artisanal miners.