James Emejo in Abuja
The acting Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI), Mr. Washed Olagunju wednesday pledged to increase funding support for the mining sector.
Speaking in Abuja on the sidelines of the International Mining Investment Conference, he said such intervention had become inevitable given the present administration’s efforts to diversify the country’s revenue base.
He said the bank had reached out to other financial institutions both within and abroad to mobilise funding to promote mining activities in the country.
Olagunju said the current efforts by government, in collaboration with the private sector to come up with credible data on mining deposits in the country will not only help investors make credible investment decision, but also aid donor agencies’ grant decision.
He said: “We are aware that our government and the private sector are now collaborating to produce the data. Once the credible data is produced, we will be able to catalyse more investment resources into the country, particularly from abroad. A lot of international financiers and investors are willing to operate in Nigeria in partnership with the Bank of Industry.”
In order to be able to play active role of in the sector, the BoI boss noted that the bank had been engaging its staff in capacity development programmes both at home and abroad to acquaint them with international best practices.
To match word with action, he said some of the bank’s staff were already undergoing training programmes at the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa.
On the viability of the development finance institution to mobilize funding support for the mining sector, Olagunju averred that the bank has high credit rating.
According to him, “There are a lot of grants that are meant to support solid minerals development. Once there is a reliable financial institution, those donors will feel comfortable to make grant available. The BoI is already well positioned to act in the regards.
“We are supporting real sector in a viable manner; we take our time to identify genuine entrepreneurs. Our non performing loan ratio is 3.87 per cent, which is below the CBN ration of 5 per cent. Also, as at June this year, the collection from MSMEs was N2.97billion as against N2.19bn for last year. This shows that on a sustainable basis, our promoters are paying back.”
Olagunju also restated the commitment of the DFI to the development of commodity based industrialization, stressing that the country would only be able to derive maximise benefits from its verse natural resources when there is value addition.