The World Bank, Australia and Canada recently launched a two-year program to support Mines and Steel development in Nigeria.
The project is financed by the governments of Australia and Canada for US$940,000 and US$950,000, respectively. It is expected to build upon earlier reforms implemented by the federal government with the support of the World Bank assisted US$120 million Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources Project (SMMRP) from 2004 till 2012.
Speaking at the launch, World Bank Country Director in Nigeria, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, said contributions from mining as a percentage of GDP in mining-rich countries are usually between two and eight percent. In Nigeria, the contributions are still low at 0.15 percent but Nigeria has done well to re-invigorate the sector following the first five years of its SMMRP supported reform.
Marie-Nelly said the mining reform cycle normally has a long time frame of over ten years to bring its full benefit to the economy and GDP.
She said it is important for the government to sustain the reforms and continue to place emphasis on institutional strengthening, transparency, accountability, and governance improvements.