World Bank Operations Officer in Charge of Oil, Gas and Mining, Energy and Extractives, Noora Arfaa, who visited Nigeria has revealed why the Bank is interested in the development of the mining sector.
She said the World Bank through the MinDiver Project is supporting the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in order to help it realise its goal of developing the mines and steel sector into a globally competitive sector with the capability of contributing to wealth creation, jobs creation, advancement of social and human security.
Arfaa explained that to achieve this goal, the sector will be supported to focus on its mining assets to drive domestic industrialisation and migrate to winning in global markets through a value chain-based growth plan.
She hinted that although Nigeria has no world class mines, there are potentials “the Bank really sees a potential that the mining sector can be the catalyst that can be used to transform the Nigerian economy.
“I think one of the reasons why we are here and remain committed is because we really see the potential of how the mining sector can transform the Nigerian economy because there is mineral potential in the country but then has to be exploited in a way that it will be sustainable. So, that’s why
we are here supporting the government and the sector to grow.” The Washington DC based Co-team leader of the MinDiver project also revealed that in supporting the government of Nigeria and the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in achieving its set goals based on its vast mineral potentials, international best practices and transparency must be adhered to.
She said so far, the impact of the Bank and MinDiver is being felt in all the relevant agencies and sectors within the ministry to make the sector attractive for investors.
“One of the impact of the project is to release support to the government and the ministry and all it’s relevant agencies on their role in supporting the mining sector and ensure that there is transparency in governance according to international best practices so as to attract more investors and ensure widespread impact.
According to her, the visit has been a satisfying experience based on what MinDiver is doing. “I’m always excited visiting Nigeria and meeting with the people that work here. I see that there are a lot of excitement around what MinDiver is doing and the fact that the government has picked interest in the mining sector. So, for me it is always a satisfying experience.”