Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: NEXIM, Miners Association to Boost Investments in Solid Minerals

Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM) and the Miners' Association of Nigeria have put in place, a framework to better structure and attract sustainable investments to the Solid Minerals sector. The framework was the focus of deliberations during a meeting between the Managing Director/CEO, NEXIM Bank, Mr. Roberts U. Orya and the Patrons of the Miners' Association of Nigeria at the NEXIM House in Abuja.

In a statement issued by the Corporate Communication Department of the Bank, the meeting with the Miners' Association was essentially a gesture by its patrons to discuss issues of mutual cooperation with NEXIM as a follow-up to the interactive business dinner organised by the Association in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Mines & Steel Development.

Presenting the Bank's strategic initiative and market focus to the Association, Orya reiterated that Solid Minerals is a cardinal sector for the Bank under its MASS Agenda. Till date, the Bank has committed more than N2.5b or nine percent of its total portfolio since August 2009 to the sector.

Orya, however, noted that this does not scratch the surface of the sector's requirement if Nigeria is to take advantage and benefit from the huge mineral deposits with which God has blessed the country. Solid minerals mining is a high capital intensive area and requires strong Government intervention to unlock its huge revenue and job creation benefits for the country.

In his response, the President of the Miners' Association, Mr. Sani Shehu, thanked the NEXIM Bank management for its commitment and support to the members in the quest to open up the solid mineral sector. According to him, "the Association is overwhelmed by the passion of the bank for the growth of mining industry in Nigeria and for supporting the players in the industry to actualise their aspiration"

He agreed with Orya that the slow development of the solid minerals sector is attributable to a number of man-made and natural factors.Mr. Shehu stressed that the government needs to quickly harmonise its policies on mining to enable an investment-friendly environment. He also identified paucity of fund as a major impediment to the growth of the mining sector and requested NEXIM Bank, based on the commited support to the Association members thus far, to strengthen efforts to get the federal government to provide much needed funding to the industry.

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