Senators are proposing to increase the powers of the Central Bank of Nigeria to enable it to use gold to strengthen the country’s reserves.

According to a Bloomberg report, a draft bill before the Senate has put forward a raft of policies that, if passed, would make the CBN the automatic off-taker for all the gold produced in the country, alongside a goal to make the precious metal at least 30 percent of Nigeria’s external reserves.

As of November’s end, gold accounted for four per cent of the nation’s reserves, which currently stand at $34.8bn.

In June, the Senate passed, for a second reading, a bill for an Act to make provision for Nigeria’s Gold Reserve Industry. The bill sponsored by the lawmaker representing Kogi Central on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, is seeking a robust framework for the harnessing, exploitation, and marketing of gold.

The draft bill proposes to set up a Gold Reserve Authority and the CBN governor to chair a Gold Reserve management committee, whose composition and functions would be similar to the monetary policy committee of the bank.

“The bill, which follows a 2019 central bank gold purchase program, would enshrine its role into law while bringing the industry into the formal sector.

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