NEXIM Bank, World Bank meet to re-energize Nigeria's mining sector

Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) Managing Director Roberts Ungwaga Orya met this week with representatives from the World Bank to discuss ways to enhance and revitalize the mining sector in Nigeria.

Orya said NEXIM Bank's services included a variety of trade and market information and export advisory services for customers in the agro-processing, solid minerals and services (MASS) sectors.

He pointed out that Nigeria has a large quantity of mineral deposits throughout the country that have had more than 30 products identified in commercial amounts; however, since 1960, when the nation gained its independence, processes for mining or marketing those deposits haven't been pursued.

The MASS sector in Nigeria is further hindered by a lack of accredited laboratories for testing and inadequate roads and rail facilities to transport the products, Orya added.

Even so, Orya said NEXIM has provided $7.17 billion in funding to the sector, leading to the creation of more than 4,300 direct jobs, a plethora of indirect jobs and foreign exchange flow inflow of more than $80,000 each year.

In 2013, NEXIM helped the Nigerian Miners Association relocate from inaccessible offices to free office spaces at the bank’s headquarters in Abuja.

Dr. Francisco Igualada, World Bank senior mining specialist, shared with Orya his knowledge of the mining industry and how the World Bank had attempted to boost the sector over the years. Igualada said his opinion was that Nigeria's lack of movement in the MASS sector was attributable to the nation's over-focus on the oil and gas industry. He suggested establishing and enforcing legal and policy frameworks for the sector.

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