30 March 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian Government yesterday said it had begun negotiation for a $150 million loan from the World Bank to commence the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MinDiver) Project aimed at resuscitating the ailing mining industry.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who disclosed this at the ongoing 53rd Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) Conference in Abuja, said the bank’s board was about to consider the concessional loan.
He noted that the government is building technical and managerial skills and capabilities locally to ensure supply of steady talent required by the sector in the future, as well as invest in infrastructure, gender equity and improve access to finance.
The minister also said that they intended to establish Nigerian Solid Minerals Investment Fund (NSMIF) structured as a private sector-oriented investment outfit to provide financing to private sector-led projects in the mining sector.
He said: “We anticipate contribution to mining gross domestic product to exceed $25 billion by 2026 as industries are better to use the output of the sector to substitute for imports and create an environment to support the enterprise.
“We need to ensure that our industrial and energy minerals strategy prioritises domestic utilisation of our assets, including getting our steel sector to provide a solid backbone for manufacturing and industrial economy.”
The minister, however, maintained that analysis conducted by major stakeholders in the sector has shown that “we can generate at least N5 trillion yearly from mining and exporting of its vast solid mineral deposits in the country.”
President of NMGS, Prof. Olugbenga Okunlola, said an investor-friendly environment is very necessary for success.