The federal government has begun the registration of artisanal miners, following the commencement of the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative biometric exercise.
The registration exercise was flagged off in Yauri Local Government Area of Kebbi State on February 22.
The exercise, which is supported by the Central Bank of Nigeria, is in line with a plan to formalise and integrate artisanal and small-scale gold mining activities in the country.
As part of the programme, 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 programme for Nigerian gold miners, with Kebbi and Osun states serving as pilot states.
Olamilekan Adegbite, minister of mines and steel development, while inaugurating the project, said the initiative would empower Nigerian artisanal miners.