W’Bank board meets on Nigeria’s $150m mining loan request

W’Bank board meets on Nigeria’s $150m mining loan requestThe Board of Governors of the World Bank is currently meeting to discuss the $150m loan that Nigeria is seeking from the institution to boost the fortunes of the mining sector, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said.

Fayemi stated this at the 53rd Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Society for Mining and Geosciences in Abuja on Tuesday.

The minister also stated that the Federal Government was targeting $25bn contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product from the mining sector by the year 2026.

He said, “We have commenced a systematic effort to build knowledge and confidence among Nigerian financial institutions to support mining projects.

“In addition, we intend to establish the Nigerian Solid Minerals Investment Fund, structured as a private sector oriented investment outfit to provide financing to private sector-led projects in the mining sector.

“The Federal Government recently approved about N30bn from the Natural Resources Fund to promote exploration for new minerals and improve the regulatory framework in the ministry.

“The ministry, through the Federal Government, is also negotiating a $150m loan from the World bank to commence the Mindiver Project aimed at further resuscitating the ailing sector. Today (Tuesday), the bank’s board is meeting in Washington to consider the concessional loan.”

Should Nigeria successfully implement proposed recommendations for the sector, growth is expected to return to the sector in the form of new exploration activities, operations and production from active mining, functional processing and refining capacity, and higher value-addition in exports, the minister said.

Fayemi said, “Already, we are seeing the green shoots of growth if we go by the evidence coming out of the National Bureau of Statistics. The net outcome will be the creation of thousands of direct jobs and potentially hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs.

“We anticipate contribution to mining GDP to exceed $25bn by 2026 as industries are better able to use the output of the sector, substituting for imports.”

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