Fed Govt, NSE seek $600m investment fund for mining

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ABUJA, JUNE 14, 2017 – The Federal Government (FG) is working with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and others to assemble a $600m investment fund for the sector, Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said.

Osinbajo said this would provide technical assistance for the restructuring and operationalisation of the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF), which will make finance available to the antesinal and small mining operators through micro finance and leasing institutions.

Osinbajo said the long term goal of the administration is to grow the contribution of the mining sector to GDP by $27b in 2025 which is roughly about 3 per cent of the current GDP.

The Ag. President, who spoke yesterday in Abuja, at the National Mining Summit, titled, ‘unearthing Nigeria’s mining sector,’ said the government is addressing the lack of geological data in the country.

He said the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency is undertaking the additional ground investigation nationwide to upgrade the national minerals data base.

His words, “ The mining sector is a priority for the Nigerian government because it forms a crusial part of our economic growth and diversification agenda. The argument for diversification is straight forward, we are all witnesses to the impact on our revenue and economic issue of the recent decline in oil prices,

“The Federal Government is determined to achieve growth for the mining sector, inspite of the many legacies that we inherited including low funding, lack of geological data, weak institutional capacity in the supervising ministry, limited infrastructure, limited cooperative federalism, low productivity, illegal mining, weak framework for managing host communities, difficulty in doing business and protacted litigation on legacy assets.

We have started tackling these issues head on and I am please to note that the substancial successes we have achieved through the combined efforts of the Federal Ministry of mines and Steel Development and other ministries and agencies of government, development partners and other stakeholders.

“We have secured funding from both domestic and international sources for investment in the solid minerals sector, the ministry has been granted access to the mining sector components of our natural resources development fund for the sum of N30b an intervention fund from the Federal Government, this is partly to help provide cheap loans and grants to industry participants as well as for directly investing in foundational infrastructure.

“We are currently working with the Nigerian Soverign Investment Authority, the Nigerian Stock Exchange and others to assemble a $600m investment fund for the sector. Internationally we have secured $150m in funding from the World Bank for the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MSSED).”

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