15 June 2017

Nigeria: Stock Exchange, Mining Ministry to Set Up U.S.$600 Million Fund

Abuja — As part of its contributions to boost the Solid Mineral sector in the country, the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) has pledged to work closely with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, to establish a $600 million Investment Fund in the near future.

The Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Oscar N. Onyema, made the pledge Tuesday in his goodwill message to the ongoing National Mining Summit & ConMin West Africa, holding in Abuja.

Onyema said the sector holds a bright future for government's economic diversification drive to create jobs for the people as well as increase its revenue earnings.

"For the Nigerian Mining Sector, current statistics present an immense opportunity for growth, today, the sector accounts for 0.02 percent of exports, 0.3 percent of national employment and contributes 0.5 percent an estimated $2 billion to the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) , this representation pales in comparison to global trends for the sector in 2015," he noted.

Commenting on the summit theme: "Unearthing Nigeria's Mining Sector," Onyema said it is unfortunate that the Nigerian Economy is at a critical Juncture of its recovery from the worst economic recession in recent times.

He stressed that the summit is expected to provide the framework for a sustainable and enabling environment for the continued growth and development of the Mining sector, and for the diversification of the nation's economy in general.

He urged stakeholders to take advantage of the vast resources available in the stock market to invest in the sector. "The Nigerian Stock Exchange is well positioned as a premier listing destination for African corporations, government and international issuers looking to access the capital market of the largest economy in Africa. With a total market capitalisation of $62.6billion as at June 9th, across all asset classes, the Exchange provides a platform to raise both equity and fixed income capital for project financing and business expansion."

"There are currently 176 listed companies on the Exchange representing diverse sectors of the economy, and the market amongst others is a little over N5 billion. On the fixed income side, we have a total bond market capitalisation of $24.6million of which $1.85 billion was issued amongst 18 state governments for infrastructure and project funding."

He also said: "Most countries in the West African sub-region have since developed country-level strategies, and we have reports of achievement that are already being recorded under the stewardship of my ministerial counterparts."

To him, African Mining Vision (AMV), is one of the most promising instruments that unite the whole continent towards achieving particular goals, and it is through building economic and social linkages that would benefit all.

"We, however, realise that we cannot go very far with our agenda if we do not feature strongly in the reckoning of international mining community as serious mining destination and we have found bearing from AVM," he added.

Fayemi also stressed the need to integrate mining into industrial and trade policy at regional level, and encourage collaboration and healthy competition among countries.

"We, therefore consider it important to have a platform for bringing international partners in the sub-region together, to share ideas and compare notes on how to collaborate in making our resources work for us."

The minister explained that the partnership with Afrocet Montgomery and Deloite, to host CONMIN West Africa, is to signal the renaissance of the mining sector as well as to lead driving objectives of AVM.

Earlier, the Regional Director, Afrocet Montgomery, George Pearson, said they are promoting deep-rooted African events, adding, "We have aligned ourselves with the policy direction of the Nigerian government, which seek to reposition country's mining sector.

"Afrocet's understanding of the market in West Africa makes for perfect partnership with government to take on, and build on exhibitions in the region and look at expanding the portfolio in line with ever changing markets in Africa," he explained.

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