26 September 2017

Nigeria: World Bank Backs Nigeria Economic Diversification Plans

Abuja — PLANS by Nigeria to place mining at the centre of diversifying the economy from the oil industry have received a timely boost from the World Bank. The bank announced it had developed a key partnership with the Federal Government and was still working along with some states that have higher mining potential. World Bank recently approved a US$150 million loan project (Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification Project or MinDiver) for developing the Nigerian mineral sector and diversifying it from its dependence on oil and gas. "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," said Francisco Igualada, Senior Mining Specialist, Energy and Extractive Industries (GEEDR) at the World Bank. He was speaking ahead of the Nigeria Mining Week 2017 set for October 16-19 in the capital 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." "Nigeria is the first African economy and really needs the employment that mining and all types of value-chain including local content can bring," he said. In his inaugural speech in 2015, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari indicated his administration had identified agriculture and mining for continuous development. - Nigeria, Africa's biggest economy by gross domestic product ($405 billion) and biggest producer of crude oil, is experiencing some challenges linked to the volatile oil markets.

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