By Ernest Nzor
The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, and the World Bank, on Tuesday 12 December 2023, indicated their resolve to collaborate in unlocking financial and technical support for the development of the mining sector.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, expressed satisfaction with the renewed focus on the development of mineral resources by the Tinubu administration. He said that with the preponderance of economically-viable minerals in the country, the sector had the potential to contribute significantly to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Chaudhuri reiterated the readiness of the World Bank to partner with the ministry to unlock financing for specific intervention areas requiring funding. He was emphatic about the bank ensuring effective implementation of projects and that transparency in the utilisation of funds was mandatory. The bank, he said, was not restricted to providing financing alone but also technical assistance to improve mining operations in the country.
Alake, in a statement by its Special Assistant on Media, Segun Tomori, appreciated the visit of the World Bank team. He commended the institution for spearheading developmental efforts in diverse sectors of the economy. “The World Bank has been able to redirect focus on developmental issues and projects in several countries, especially Nigeria. Just recently, we had the support of the World Bank on palliatives being rolled out after the fuel subsidy removal. We had appreciable support from the World Bank. I thank you for your involvement in the mining diver project, which, unfortunately, is ending. 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,” the minister was quoted as saying.
Shedding light on his vision for the mining sector, the minister said efforts were ongoing to establish efficient governance structures and secure the mining environment. Alake further assured that the federal government was committed to providing an enabling environment to safeguard mining operations while it ensures maximum benefits to host communities.