“In Nigeria we have managed to develop a real ‘partnership’ with the Federal Government of Nigeria and we are still working along with some of the States that have higher mining potentials.” This is according to Francisco Igualada, Senior Mining Specialist, Energy and Extractive Industries (GEEDR) at the World Bank. As a featured speaker at the upcoming Nigeria Mining Week in October in Abuja he 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 deserves to be on the mining map again”

In an exclusive interview with the organisers Mr Igualada says: “the World Bank follows a kind of value chain that bring those countries we support from non-renewable resources to a stage in which sustainable development may take place. Each country has its own idiosyncrasy and characteristics. I am particularly excited about two projects; our critical involvement in DRC in support of the rationalization of the sector through nearly five years as well as my responsibility in managing our recently approved 150 million loan project (MinDiver) for developing the Nigerian mineral sector and diversifying it from its dependency on other sectors like oil & gas as H.E. President Buhari has clearly indicated in his inaugural speech; two sectors need continuous development in Nigeria, that are agriculture and mining. This is the reason why the Honourable Minister Dr. Kayode Fayemi with his drive and strong determination has led the initiative to put Nigeria ‘on the African mining map again’ as, in my opinion, the country deserves.”

He adds: “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. Nigeria is the first African economy and really needs the employment that mining and all types of value-chain including local content can bring.”

“We need to get it right”
Mr Igualada says his message at Nigeria Mining Week in October in Abuja is “rather straightforward:  ‘we need to get it right’ once for all and this means that a strong sector foundation is a must. Afterwards facilitating downstream sector developments and the enhancement of competitiveness need to happen as a logical result. This cannot and should not be improvised and built on a piece-meal basis. Consequently, the only way to bring competitiveness… that obviously comes from competing with our external environment – is by building an integrated approach that would facilitate sharing information and resources with other development donors that are betting on Nigeria as well. Competing should be both internal and external even if nowadays such distinction is a bit blurred due to globalisation of economies.”

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