World Bank Seeks Stronger Partnerships To Boost Nigeria’s Mining Sector 

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Yemisi Izuora
The World Bank said it is developing new partnership arrangements with governments at the state level especially the states with higher mining potentials.
The Bank said state level programs will augment vibrant partnerships it has with the Federal Government which will help return the country on the mining map again.

“In Nigeria we have managed to develop a real ‘partnership’ with the Federal Government of Nigeria and we are still working along with some of the States that have higher mining potentials”, said Francisco Igualada, Senior Mining Specialist, Energy and Extractive Industries (GEEDR) at the World Bank.

As a featured speaker at the upcoming Nigeria Mining Week in October in Abuja, Igualada will address the high-level industry gathering on “Establishing a strong foundation for mining sector development: Enhancing competitiveness and fostering domestic investment in Nigeria.”

Igualada said, “The World Bank follows a kind of value chain that bring those countries we support from non-renewable resources to a stage in which sustainable development may take place. Each country has its own idiosyncrasy and characteristics. I am particularly excited about two projects; our critical involvement in DRC in support of the rationalization of the sector through nearly five years as well as my responsibility in managing our recently approved $150 million loan project (MinDiver) for developing the Nigerian mineral sector and diversifying it from its dependency on other sectors like oil and gas as President Buhari has clearly indicated in his inaugural speech; two sectors need continuous development in Nigeria, that are agriculture and mining.

This is the reason why the Honourable Minister Dr. Kayode Fayemi with his drive and strong determination has led the initiative to put Nigeria ‘on the African mining map again’ as, in my opinion, the country deserves.”

He adds: “from the Bank’s side, I am really looking forward to contribute to transforming their potential resources into some tangible exploration and exploitation mineral projects bringing economic prosperity and jobs. Nigeria is the first African economy and really needs the employment that mining and all types of value-chain including local content can bring.”

Igualada says his message for the Nigeria Mining Week is that  “We need to get it right’ once for all and this means that a strong sector foundation is a must. Afterwards facilitating downstream sector developments and the enhancement of competitiveness need to happen as a logical result.
This cannot and should not be improvised and built on a piece-meal basis. Consequently, the only way to bring competitiveness that obviously comes from competing with our external environment is by building an integrated approach that would facilitate sharing information and resources with other development donors that are betting on Nigeria as well. Competing should be both internal and external even if nowadays such distinction is a bit blurred due to globalisation of economies.”

The upcoming Nigeria Mining Week, which is taking place again in Abuja from 16-19 October, is a successful partnership between PwC, the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) and event organisers Spintelligent. This high-level, strategic mining investment platform will link investors, project developers, financiers, technology providers and government to share best practices and demonstrate the latest strategies to evolve the sector successfully.

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