We need collective efforts to move Nigeria mining sector forward -Group Head, Solid Minerals and Metals, Bank of Industry, Ms Olayinka Mubarak

Ms Olayinka Mubarak is the Group Head, Solid Minerals and Metals, Bank of Industry (BoI). The bank will be returning as a Platinum Sponsor at the 2018 Nigeria Mining Week in Abuja. In this interview, she explains sundry issues around BoI’s support for the Nigeria mining sector. Excerpts

Can you explain the history of the Bank of Industry and your work in the mining sector?
Bank of Industry (BoI) 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 as 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.
Also, in 2017, we disbursed over $421 million (about N128 billion) in loans to enterprises. The bank also disbursed a total of N28 billion to the solid mineral sector and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steels development for a N2.5 billion fund to finance artisanal and small scale miners and boost their capacity to participate in the development of the mining sector.

Can you mention some of your ongoing projects?
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 manufactures steel products like rebars, strip steel and wire-rods. The most exciting aspect of this project is the indirect employment it has generated as well as businesses that are springing up around the company. A community that hitherto had no infrastructure is fast becoming urbanized due to the presence of this company.

What in your view are the challenges facing the mining sector in Nigeria?
What I think are the main challenges facing the solid minerals sector in Nigeria include: Inadequate logistics support; Informal mining activities; Inadequate skilled labour; Access to more funding; Lack of Infrastructure; High capital requirement; High risk and health hazard and Unwholesome practices of stakeholders among others.

What is your vision for the mining sector in Nigeria?
It is interesting to note that the government has done a lot to address 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.

Your organisation will be returning as a Platinum Sponsor at 2018 Nigeria Mining Week. How important is this event to showcasing the country’s mining potential?
This event is the largest gathering of miners in Nigeria, last year it had international participants from more than 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.
What will be your message at the event?
Nigeria is blessed with several mineral resources and there is a need for collective effort by all stakeholders to move the mining sector forward.

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

Culled from www.nigeriaminingweek.com

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