06 April 2016, Abuja – The Federal Government on Tuesday said it had entered into a partnership with the World Bank Group to address the challenges facing the solid minerals sector in the country.
The Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, stated this during a meeting between the representatives of the Federal Government, World Bank and investors in the sector.
Some of the challenges currently facing the sector are limited infrastructure, insufficient geological data, limited cooperative federalism and low productivity.
Others are illegal artisanal mining, weak institutional capacity, insufficient funding and weak ease of doing business.
The minister said the need to remove the impediments became imperative as the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was planning to use the sector to diversify the economy away from oil.
Fayemi said since he assumed office last year, officials of the ministry had been working on a robust road map that would reposition the sector to drive inclusive growth and reduce unemployment.
He said, “We are developing our own local road map initiative and we are approaching development partners to support us, and that is why we have the team from the World Bank here. Beyond just talking to us the policy drivers, we believe they should talk to the operators too and that is essentially the purpose of this meeting.
“This is not a sector that is going to be developed overnight, because you all know the challenges that we need to confront and we will like to really discuss all of these.”
Also speaking at the meeting, the Global Lead, Extractives, World Bank Group, Mr. Michael Stanley, said the assistance of the institution was in recognition of the fact that the sector could be an engine of growth for the nation’s economy.
“We want to provide technical assistance project to the government and we also want to help the mining sector achieve its potential. This is why we are eager to work directly with investors so that together we can begin to reduce the challenges facing this sector,” he said.