Two top financial institutions, the Nigerian Export-Import, NEXIM, Bank and World Bank have met with the aim of collaborating to develop Nigeria’s solid mineral sector, which NEXIM has so far expended about N7.17billion on since inception.
NEXIM’s intervention has also resulted in the creation of more than 4,302 direct and indirect jobs in addition to facilitating foreign exchange inflow of US$80, 142 annually.
The strong moves were indicated at a meeting between NEXIM and mining experts from the World Bank in Abuja.
Two mining specialists, Dr. Francisco Igualada, senior mining and energy specialist, of the extractives unit of the World Bank, and Mr. Linus Adie Utsu of Mining Investments Consult, met with NEXIM Bank’s management led by the managing director, Mr. Roberts Orya.
Speaking, Mr Orya noted that the long neglect in exploiting the sector to its fullest had resulted to the dwindling revenue growth of the country.
According to him, the Nigerian solid mineral sector ought to be the mainstay of the economy outside oil.
“Nigeria could and should actually make the exploitation of solid minerals the mainstay of the economy,” Orya argued, lamenting why the country could still be earning paltry sums in revenue and dividends with all her huge solid mineral reserves.
He compared the country with South Africa, where mining remains the cornerstone of the economy, accounting for 18 percent of GDP and creating about one million jobs.
Mr. Orya stated that the country was endowed with huge solid mineral deposits, with about 34 products identified in commercial quantities in different parts of Nigeria, noting that it was the failure since independence to put in place a structure that would make the benefits of the exploitation available to all Nigerians that had been the bane of the country.
“The low activity in the solid mineral sector is not yielding the desired financial revenues as there are scanty records of payment of taxes and royalty to the government. Nigeria is losing lots of resources from untapped mineral deposit as well as from the little that is being mined mostly by illegal miners who smuggle the products out of the country. At the moment, according to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reports, the sector accounts for only 0.14 percent of GDP and 3.8 percent of the non-oil export revenue,” he disclosed
He, however, noted that the global bank’s plan to join forces with NEXIM towards a well thought-out intervention in the sector was timely and welcomed
“The clear intention of The World Bank to collaborate with the NEXIM Bank towards a structured intervention in the Nigeria’s solid minerals sector is quite expedient. More so, with commitment and firm resolve of President Muhammad Buhari to diversify the economy, revitalize the mining sector towards boosting job creation and enhancing foreign exchange earnings,” Orya further emphasised.
Making his remarks, Dr Igualada expressed the need for a planned consolidation of efforts towards developing the sector, which should focus on building right capacity for human and institutional levels as well as establishing and enforcing requisite legal and policy frameworks.
According to him, it is amazing that Nigeria with all its huge resources and potentials has continued to earn less than most West African countries in mining activities, attributing such factors to the overriding dependence on oil and gas.
In his view, Mr. Adie of Mining Investments Consults, though indicated a strong need to seize the prevailing opportunity to develop the Nigerian mining sector, however faulted the World Bank for not showing greater enthusiasm in developing the Nigeria’s mining sector considering the huge potentials.
Dr. Igualada, however, expressed appreciation to the NEXIM management for receiving them.

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