The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the $150 million loan recently received from the World Bank for the development of Nigeria’s mining sector.
Fayemi told newsmen in the State House after a closed-door meeting on Thursday with President Buhari in Asorock Villa, Abuja.
He said part of the loan would be used for collating geological data, provision of technological equipment for artisanal and small-scale miners, and to assist those crossing over from exploration to exploitation and to actual mining.
“I have come to brief the President about what is going on in the mining sector and to particularly inform him of the major breakthrough we had on Friday with the World Bank approving the 150million dollar request that we made to them during the meeting in Washington.
“And then the activities of illegal miners, the work we are doing with regards to that, my tour around the country and the gradual improvements we are beginning to see in the sector particularly in relation to our growth.
“It is a sector that seems to have defiled recession, according to the bureau of statistics, it’s growing while other sectors may be experiencing challenges; that is not to say that we have reached Eldorado.
“But, it is a journey and we are beginning to see concrete development and the President as you know also approved an intervention fund for this sector, the first of its kind in the history of the mining sector,’’ Fayemi said.
It will be recalled that the World Bank on Wednesday had said in a statement signed by Senior Communication Officer Olufunke Olufon, that 150 million dollars credit has been approved to help the mining sector and increase its contribution to the Nigerian economy.
Olufon said the credit would help to establish a strong foundation for mining sector development in the country.