The Federal Government through the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has secured $150 million (N45.7 billion) aid from the World Bank to develop the mineral sector.
The aid is for Mineral Support for Economic Diversification (MSSED) or MinDiver programme.
The federal government Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi who disclosed this in Abuja said the ministry was working with the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, the Nigerian Stock Exchange and other institutions to assemble a $600 million investment fund for the sector by the first quarter of 2017.
According to Fayemi: “We have secured support from the World Bank for the funding of $150 million Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification or MinDiver programme. A critical component of the support is to provide technical assistance for the restructuring of the Solid Minerals Development Mining Investment Fund.“The fund will also help to bring back on stream previously abandoned mining projects like tin ore, iron ore, coal, gold and lead-zinc among others.”
The federal government minister said the sector had witnessed positive developments in the last one year, including a major improvement in the ministry’s contribution to the Federation Account to about N2 billion in 2016, up from N700 million in 2015.
He added that increased productivity in mining had also led to significant discovery of mineral deposits, notably high-grade nickel recently in Dangoma, Kaduna State by an Australian company operating in Nigeria.
Fayemi further revealed that government had constructed 10 prototype mineral buying centres across the country for specific industrial minerals.
“These are to serve as standardisation centres to enable cooperatives and operators to receive fair premium for their efforts,” he said.