Legal Nigeria

Reps seek establishment of Mining Development Bank

The House of Representatives on Tuesday, March 13, passed for a second reading a bill to establish the Nigerian Mining Development Bank to provide financial support and promote investments in the mining sector in the country.

When established, the Nigeria Mining Development Bank is expected to provide financial support and credit facilities to individuals, cooperatives and companies engaged in mining activities and promote investments in the mining sector by facilitating access to capital and technical expertise.

Leading a debate on the bill, its sponsor, Uchenna Harris Okonkwo (LP, Anambra), said the Bank will also foster sustainable development in the mining sector through the promotion of environmentally friendly practices and community engagement, support research and development initiatives aimed at improving mining technologies and collaborate with relevant stakeholders.

He said further that the establishment of a Nigerian Mining Development Bank in Nigeria can have several important implications and benefits for the country’s mining sector.

According to him, one of the primary challenges facing the mining sector in Nigeria is the lack of access to finance for mining projects, adding that a dedicated mining development bank can provide tailored financial products and services to support the growth and development of the sector.

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He said further that the mining sector often involves high risks, including geological, operational, and market risks, saying a specialized bank can help mitigate these risks by providing financial instruments such as guarantees, insurance, and risk-sharing mechanisms.

He argued that the bank can support the development of mining projects by providing funding for exploration, feasibility studies, infrastructure development and other critical stages of project development.

He maintained that a mining development bank can also support capacity-building initiatives in the sector by providing training programmes, technical assistance, and knowledge-sharing activities to enhance the skills and capacities of local stakeholders.

Okonkwo argued that by promoting local participation in the mining sector, the bank can help enhance local content development, create employment opportunities, and foster economic empowerment in mining communities.

He said that the bank can play a crucial role in promoting environmentally and socially sustainable mining practices by providing funding for projects that adhere to best practices in environmental management, community engagement, and social responsibility.

He stressed that the establishment of a dedicated mining development bank can signal the government’s commitment to the sector, attract investment, and stimulate growth in the mining industry.

The lawmaker said the establishment of a Nigerian Mining Development Bank can be a strategic move to unlock the potential of the country’s mining sector, drive sustainable development, and contribute to economic diversification and growth.

Source:The nation