The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, is exploring collaboration with the World Bank to unlock financing and technical support for the development of the mining sector.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the Minister, Dr. Dele Alake on Monday, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri expressed satisfaction with the renewed focus on development of the nation’s mineral resources by the Tinubu administration, stating that with the preponderance of economically viable minerals in Nigeria, the country has the potential to make the sector a major contributor to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mr. Chaudhuri reiterated the readiness of the Bank to partner with the Ministry to unlock financing for specific intervention areas requiring funding, emphasising, however, that that the terms and conditions of the Bank to ensure effective implementation of projects and transparency in utilising funds is mandatory. He also added that the bank is not restricted to providing financing alone, asserting it has the capacity to offer technical assistance to improve mining operations in the country.
In his response, the Minister hailed the World Bank team for the visit, commending the institution for spearheading developmental efforts in diverse sectors of the economy over the years.
” The World Bank has been able to redirect focus on developmental issues and projects in countries, especially Nigeria. Just recently, we had the support of the World Bank on palliatives being rolled out after fuel subsidy removal. We had appreciable support from the World Bank. I thank you for your involvement in the min diver project, which, unfortunately, is coming to a close. We look forward to strengthening collaboration, which will culminate in the needed funding for critical areas in the mining sector, alongside the requisite technical support, as earlier hinted, “Alake said.
Throwing light on his vision for the mining sector, the Minister revealed that the first major priority is investment in exploration to generate the requisite geo-data that will guide investors in making informed decisions about investing in the sector. He also revealed that efforts are ongoing to establish efficient governance structures and secure the mining environment.
Alake further assured that the federal government is committed to providing an enabling environment to safeguard mining operations whilst ensuring maximum beneficiation to host communities and accruable revenue to government through royalties and taxes.
On the World Bank delegation were the Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri and World Bank program leader, equitable growth, finance innovation, Bertina Kamphuis.