SAN FRANCISCO, April 19, (THEWILL) – The World Bank has approved $150 million credit facility to help increase the mining sector’s contribution to the Nigerian economy.
This was contained in a statement in Abuja by the Senior Communication Officer of the bank, Ms Olufunke Olufon, adding that the project would help to establish a strong foundation for mining sector development in the country.
Olufon said that credit would also enhance competitiveness by improving information infrastructure and knowledge of mining adding that it would equally help in strengthening key government institutions and foster domestic investments in the sector.
“The project will help develop measures for formalising; regulating and inventorying artisan and small-scale mining; facilitate the flow of mineral transactions and facilitate access to finance,” she said.
“It will facilitate access to technology and equipment; increase knowledge and support the mining and processing of the minerals in accordance with best practices.”
Olufon said that the expected results include the ability to attract and develop mineral transactions on medium and large mining operations and any other mining related investments insisting that environmental and social protection will also be enhanced by the credit line.
The statement also quoted the World Bank Country Director, Rachid Benmessaoudm as saying that “Nigeria has a favourable geological potential.”
“The potential is such that if adequately assessed, well exploited and managed in a sustainable manner, can support broader economic growth through mineral sector.”
Benmessaoudm said that one of the key objectives of the project was to support Nigerian government’s priority to diversify the economy to a broader range of non-oil productive sectors.
“The support will include the realisation of the full mineral endowment for sector policy, promotion, conducive business environment and integrated long-range resources and investment planning.”