31 January 2018, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has commended the World Bank for its role in the successful formulation of the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification Project, MinDiver, for which the ministry partnered with the Bank.
Fayemi specifically hailed the Bank for using the ministry’s roadmap as a guide for formulating the project as it is usually not the case in most scenarios with external support.
The minister spoke in Abuja at the presentation of the MinDiver project, which is geared towards growing the solid minerals sector.
He said “Very often, what we are told is that donor support is largely driven by what the donor wants, not necessarily what the recipient is in desperate need of, but I can assure you that working with the world bank team on this project has shown that this is not always the case.”
He added that, “The World Bank listened to us and planned what eventually became this project largely from the roadmap and of course they guided and shared their extensive experience with us in other countries.
“Everything that is contained in the programme document for this sector initiative is largely driven by us and we cannot therefore hold the World Bank responsible for the success or the failure of this project. We must hold ourselves responsible for the outcome.”
Fayemi explained that the purpose of the project is to build a world class minerals’ and mining ecosystem designed to serve a targeted domestic as well as export market for mineral ores.
According to him, “We plan to achieve this by focusing on Nigeria’s minerals, mining and related processing industry over a three-phased period. The first phase is to rebuild market confidence in our minerals and mining sector and win back all our domestic users of industrial minerals that are currently imported.
“During this phase, Nigeria will also seek to expand the use of our energy minerals like coal and this phase will take the next two to three years.
“The second phase focuses on expanding our domestic ore and mineral access processing industry. For too long, what we have in terms of endowment is often taken out raw and our conclusion is that they would be more beneficial both to our private sector operators and to us in the government for our mineral ores to be processed locally with value added before being taken out, if they must be taken out at all.
“In some cases the market here is large enough to absorb what we produce but in some cases we may need to encourage export of this endowment.”
He added that, “The third phase for the roadmap seeks to return Nigeria to the global ore and mineral market at a market competitive price and we expect that this would also coincide with a commodity upshot because the mineral resource industry is also an industry slightly like the oil industry. It is the same extractive sector and prices go up and down”.