World Bank’s $350m for mining, livestock revival coming

The World Bank is injecting $350million into Nigeria’s mining and agricultural sector to revitalise its livestock sub-sector.

While $200million will go into livestock sector resuscitation, the balance of $150million credit will be used used to help increase the mining sector’s contribution to the  economy.

World Bank FADAMA Team Leader, Dr Adetunji Oredipe, who spoke in Abuja yesterday, said the global lender was working with the Federal Government to formulate the intervention policy, adding that discussions with the government’s team on the modalities for the project execution had also started.

Oredipe said essentially, the bank would revive the livestock sub-sector with critical intervention in the areas of productivity and access to markets.

“Productivity depends on a number of factors as it concerns the feeds which are very critical; the major problem of livestock production in the country is dearth of high-quality animal feeds, as the feeds determine what you get from your livestock.

“World Bank is also looking at critical health aspects of the livestock industry, the veterinary aspects, as we are merging it with the surveillance,’’ he said.

Speaking on the mining sector financial lifeline,  Senior Communication Officer of the bank, Ms Olufunke Olufon said the project would help to establish a strong foundation for mining sector development in the country.

She said the credit would also enhance competitiveness by improving information infrastructure and knowledge of mining, adding that it would equally help in strengthening key government institutions and foster domestic investments in the sector.

domestic investments in the sector.

She said: “The project will help develop measures for formalising; regulating and inventorying artisan and small-scale mining; facilitate the flow of mineral transactions and facilitate access to finance.

“It will facilitate access to technology and equipment; increase knowledge and support the mining and processing of the minerals in accordance with best practices.’”

According to her, environmental and social protection will  also be enhanced by the credit line.

Olufon said the expected results include the ability to attract and develop mineral transactions on medium and large mining operations and any other mining related investments.

The  World Bank Country Director, Rachid Benmessaoudm was quoted to have said:“Nigeria has a favourable geological potential.

“The potential is such that if adequately assessed, well exploited and managed in a sustainable manner, can support broader economic growth through mineral sector.’’

Benmessaoudm said one of the key objectives of the project was to support Nigerian government’s priority to diversify the economy to a broader range of non-oil productive sectors.

“The support will include the realisation of the full mineral endowment for sector policy, promotion, conducive business environment and integrated long-range resources and investment planning.’’

He said the Nigeria had been unable to attract significant investment in exploration and mining into the sector.

The global financial giant said the current productivity from the mining sector was still insufficient to meet local demands particularly for industrial minerals.

The bank listed the critical binding constraints of the sectors development to include insufficient geo-data and geological knowledge, weak implementation and enforcement of the mining law and regulations.

Benmessaoudm said that a large poorly regulated and informal artisanal and small-scale mining sub-sector was also one of the critical constraints of the sector.

Elaborating more on the livestock financial support, Oredipe said there were series of reforms that would facilitate the efforts of livestock owners to change the business environment.

He said the reform programme would be executed under the Livestock Micro Reforms Project, adding that the bank and government officials were now looking at the policy and business environment, with a view to perfecting them for the intervention.

Oredipe said the World Bank’s focus on the livestock sub-sector was based on the request of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

“The administration made it clear that they want the bank to critically look into the livestock sector because not much is going on in that sector,’’ he added.

He said that the livestock sub-sector accounted for a sizeable part of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), providing income, employment, food, farm energy, manure, fuel and transport.

Oredipe said that in the past, the livestock sub-sector was a major source of government revenue, adding that government was, therefore, making efforts to restore the lost glory of the sub-sector.


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