ABUJA, April 14, 2017—The World Bank’s Board today approved a $150 million credit to enhance the contribution of the mining sector to the Nigerian economy. The project will help establish a strong foundation for mining sector development and enhance competitiveness by improving information infrastructure and knowledge, strengthening of key government institutions, and fostering of domestic investment in the sector.
“Nigeria has a favorable geological potential that, if adequately assessed, well exploited and sustainably managed, could support broader economic growth through mineral sector,” said Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director, Nigeria. “In line with the Nigerian government’s priority to diversify the economy to a broader range of non-oil productive sectors, one of the key objectives of this project is to support the government in the realization of the full mineral endowment for sector policy, promotion, conducive business environment and integrated long-range resources and investment planning.”
Nigeria has been unable to attract significant investment in exploration and mining into the sector, and current productivity from the Nigerian mining sector is still insufficient to meet local demands, particularly for industrial minerals. Insufficient geo-data and geological knowledge, weak implementation and enforcement of the mining law and regulations, and a large, poorly regulated and informal artisanal and small-scale mining sub-sector are among the critical binding constraints for sector development.
The project will help develop measures for formalizing, regulating and inventorying artisanal and small-scale mining, facilitate the flow of mineral transactions, facilitate access to finance, technology and equipment, increase knowledge and support the mining and processing of the minerals in accordance with best practices, including with regards to environmental and social protections.
Over the medium to longer-term, expected results include the ability to successfully attract and develop mineral transactions on medium to large mining operations as well as any other mining related (infrastructure) investments.