Why World Bank witheld $80m mining loan from Nigeria


29 August 2011, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The World Bank has confirmed that it could not deliver a fresh $80 million additional funding for the Nigerian mining sector following its decision to first assess the utilisation and success of previous funds it had released to the sector.

Task Team Leader of the World Bank Sustainable Management on Mineral Resources Project (SMMRP), Ms. Ekaterina Mikhaylovak, said at the weekend that the decision was also to assess all the sectors with a view to ascertaining where more funding was needed.

Nigeria was expected to get additional funding from the Bank in July, as the current $120 million project is due for completion in May, 2012.

But speaking with journalists in Abuja, Mikhaylovak explained that the loan never came because she has prepared a detailed report on the SMMRP to both the Federal Government and the World Bank. She said, due to the portfolio of the bank at the moment, there was a decision that the additional funding should be suspended.

Mikhayloyak, who expressed satisfaction over the performance of the SMMRP, said through Federal Government’s budgetary allocation, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development will fund and supervise the project.

“Unfortunately, additional financing did not happen. At least, not yet. Following that, I have prepared a detailed report to both the government and my management in the World Bank and based on the portfolio situation of the World Bank at that time, it was decided to wait and assess its sectors; which sector in Nigeria should continue to be supported by the World Bank project.

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