UPDATED: Federal lawmaker amplifies false claim about Nigeria’s gold reserve

Share

Summary

THE Senator representing Kogi Central Senatorial District, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, has amplified a claim that the last time Nigeria bought a gold bar was in the 1960s.

OUR VERDICT: The claim that the last time the CBN bought a gold bar was in the 1960s is FALSE; the apex bank acquired 12.5kg worth of gold for N268.6 million in 2020.

THE Senator representing Kogi Central Senatorial District, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, has amplified a claim that the last time Nigeria bought a gold bar was in the 1960s.

Senator Natasha amplified the claim during an interview with Channels TV on Tuesday, April 11, 2024.

In the interview, she said:

“The idea to sponsor the gold bill came in February at the banking committee which I am a member of. We were screening the CBN monetary policy committee and there sat DG Sec which is Lamido Yuguda and I asked him a question: if you become a part of the CBN monetary policy committee, how do you intend to boost Nigeria’s gold reserve and do you mind letting us know exactly what the status of the gold reserve is in the country and his response shocked me as it did shock other members of the committee. He said indeed CBN do have a gold reserve but the last time CBN bought a gold bar was in the 1960s. 1960s was the last time Nigeria bought a gold bar. That means the last time Nigeria’s Central Bank took stock of gold bars in its reserve was in the 1960s and that now made me to begin research.”

 

CLAIM 

The last time Nigeria bought a gold bar was in the 1960s.

 

THE FINDINGS

Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim amplified on a national TV by the lawmaker is FALSE.

A gold bar, also known as gold bullion or a gold ingot, refers to a quantity of refined metallic gold that can be shaped in various forms, and produced under standardised conditions of manufacture, labelling, and record-keeping.

It is one of the oldest and most universally valued assets. Countries across the world and other important authorities hoarded gold as a way to maintain economic stability and power. Central banks across the world acquire gold to diversify their foreign exchange reserves and reduce their reliance on the U.S. dollar.

Contrary to the claim, findings by The FactCheckHub show that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) acquired a gold bar about 4 years ago.

In 2020, the apex bank announced the presentation of a dummy cheque of N268.6m for a 12.5kg London Bullion Market Association Gold by the former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, to President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari.

The virtual launch of the Gold Purchase, under the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Initiative (PAGMI), took place before President Buhari at the Council Chambers, in the State House, Abuja.

The CBN, in a tweet, said it paid a total of N268.6million to purchase the gold bar, which now belongs to Nigeria’s external reserves.

The bank said it acquired the artisanally mined gold that was processed and refined, according to the London Bullion Market Association standards, required to use gold as a reserve instrument.

The development was part of the PAGMI, a comprehensive artisanal and small-scale gold mining development programme, launched in 2019.

The initiative aimed to enable the apex bank to purchase locally produced gold in Naira to boost the nation’s foreign reserves.

 

So, who made the claim?

Checks show that the source of the claim is Lamido Abubakar Yuguda, the then Director General of the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and one of the then nominees for CBN’s Board.

On February 21, 2024, Yuguda was responding to a question asked by the lawmaker who was a member of the Nigerian Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance, and other Financial Institutions, Vanguard reported.

Earlier at the screening, Senator Natasha had asked him: “Why don’t we begin to store our currency in tangible measures, and have values?”

Responding, Yuguda confirmed that Nigeria did have gold reserve, but in a very small quantity.

“…Our gold reserve is not among the highest in Africa, the gold reserve we have now are the ones that were bought since the 1960s,” Yuguda had told the Senate Committee in February.

 

THE VERDICT 

The claim that the last time the CBN bought a gold bar was in the 1960s is FALSE; the apex bank acquired 12.5kg worth of gold for N268.6 million in 2020.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE/UPDATE:

* The featured image has been changed to that of a gold bar, which is the primary element in the claim while the headline was also changed to reflect that the lawmaker amplified the false claim.

* Similarly, the fourth paragraph was updated while additional paragraphs were included to explain the source of the claim to our readers.

Nurudeen Akewushola is a fact-checker with FactCheckHub. He has authored several fact checks which have contributed to the fight against information disorder. You can reach him via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 via Twitter.

SOURCES: Lamido Abubakar Yuguda & Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan via YouTube.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Most Read

Recent Checks