The World Bank’s Board has approved a $150m to increase the mining sector's contribution to the Nigerian economy.
The credit is expected to facilitate development, improve information infrastructure and bolster its government institutions to encourage investment in Nigeria’s mining sector.
World Bank country director of Nigeria Rachid Benmessaoud said: “Nigeria has a favourable geological potential that, if adequately assessed, well-exploited and sustainably managed, could support broader economic growth through the mineral sector.
"In line with the Nigerian Government’s priority to diversify the economy to a broader range of non-oil productive sectors, one of the key objectives of this project is to support the government in the realisation of the full mineral endowment for sector policy, promotion, conducive business environment and integrated long-range resources and investment planning."
The current productivity level of the African nation’s mining sector has been unable to fulfil its domestic demand of industrial minerals and fetch substantial investment for mining exploration.
The World Bank noted that inadequate geological data and knowledge, an inability to enforce mining law and regulations, small-scale mining sub-sector and lack of skilled workers are primary obstacles for developing the country's mining sector.
The credit project will assist in developing a formalised artisanal and small-scale mining, encourage mineral transactions, increase technical and equipment access and facilitate knowledge of mining and processing of the minerals under environmental and social norms.
It is expected that the country will be able to increase mineral transactions on medium to large mining operations and associated investments over the medium to long term.