By Ernest Nzor
The Solid Minerals Development Ministry and the Nigerian Export-Import (NEXIM) bank have pledged to address the logistical challenges hindering the export of solid minerals to enhance financing in the mining sector.
Speaking during a meeting with NEXIM Bank’s Managing Director, Abba Bello, in Abuja, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, praised the bank for utilizing its financial tools to assist the mining industry in meeting its critical equipment and funding needs but emphasized the need for further action.
Alake, in a statement by its Special Assistant on Media, Segun Tomori, said: “I think your role is quite critical to filling the financing shortfall for local mining investors. We need you to up the game for our local investors so that we can minimize logistical bottlenecks for exports of solid minerals while also scaling up access to funding and mining equipment.”
Bello briefed the Minister on NEXIM Bank’s mining support scheme, which aims to support local mining companies in accessing capital for developing critical minerals and provide credit enhancement instruments to reduce project risks. The scheme also aims to attract investments and optimize the mining sector’s contribution to the nation’s GDP and exports.
Bello explained that the mining scheme includes an Equipment Leasing Framework to reduce investment capital requirements for essential production equipment, a Contract Mining Framework to enhance productivity and scale of mining operations, and Buyers Credit/ECA financing to enhance value-added operations and expand current mining activities.
The NEXIM bank MD also highlighted the bank’s efforts in addressing logistical challenges faced by the export of solid minerals. He mentioned the successful survey and charting of the lower River Niger, which has improved navigation and increased the capacity to transport bulk solid minerals through the Ajaokuta terminal and Burukutu port. Dr. Alake expressed his satisfaction with the bank’s commitment to the development of the mining sector and pledged the ministry’s collaboration to leverage the bank’s resources for the benefit of the industry.