BANK OF INDUSTRY INTERVIEW: “Nigeria is blessed with several mineral resources and there is a need for collective effort by all stakeholders to move the mining sector forward”

Let’s start with some background on the Bank of Industry and your work in the mining sector?
Bank of Industry emerged from the merger between Nigeria Industrial Development Bank (NIDB) and Nigerian Bank for Commerce and Industry (NBCI). It began operations as Investment Company of Nigeria (ICON) in 1959 and is therefore the foremost developmental finance institution in Nigeria focused on developing the Nigerian Industrial Landscape.

BOI has been rated by both international and local Credit Rating agencies. We obtained a Fitch rating of LT National & IDR AA+; B+; - Moody’s LT Local & Foreign Currency and AgustoDomestic Ratings Aa.

In 2017, BOI disbursed over $421m (N128bn) in loans to enterprises. The bank disbursed a total of N28bn to the solid mineral sector in 2017 and also signed an MOU with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steels development for a N2.5Bn Fund to finance artisanal and small scale miners and boost their capacity to participate in the development of the mining sector.

2) Any projects that you are involved in Nigeria that you are particularly excited about at the moment?
There are a lot of projects we are currently supporting, however, I want to talk about a company we are supporting in a very rural community that makes steel products such as rebars, strip steel and wire-rods. The most exciting aspect of this project is the indirect employment it has generated as well as the businesses that are spring up around the company. A community that hitherto had no infrastructure is fast becoming urbanized due to the presence of this company.   

3) What in your view are the challenges to taking the mining sector in Nigeria to the next level?
Main challenges facing the solid minerals sector in Nigeria include but not limited to the following:
• Inadequate logistics support
• Informal mining activities
• Inadequate skilled labour
• Access to more funding
• Lack of Infrastructure
• High capital requirement
• High risk and health hazard
• Unwholesome practices of Stakeholders
 
4) What is your vision for the mining sector in Nigeria?
The Government has done a lot to address the various challenges facing the mining sector. My vision for the sector would be for this effort by the government to start translating into positive impact in the sector. This should include creating an enabling environment for both local and   foreign investors, growth in the mining sector and export of refined minerals from Nigeria.

5) You are a returning platinum sponsor at Nigeria Mining Week. How important is this event to showcase the country’s mining potential?
The event is the largest gathering of miners in Nigeria, last year it had international participants from over 13 countries and has continued to evolve over the years. Discussions are usually focused on how to drive the sector forward. The event has a match making platform for would be investors and also offers a mentoring program.

6) What will be your message at the event?
The country is blessed with several mineral resources and there is a need for collective effort by all stakeholders to move the mining sector forward.

7)  Anything you would like to add?
This event is a welcomed development for the mining sector in Nigeria. I urge the organisers to keep up the good work they are doing.