BoI tasks govt on solid minerals exploitation
The Bank of Industry (BoI) has called on the federal government to pay a close look at funding investments in the solid mineral space, noting that the industry has the potential to attract huge foreign exchange if developed.
The Managing Director, BOI, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa, explained that most countries in the continent have been able to achieve economic growth because they have invested a lot of resources into developing their natural resources.
Indeed, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) had recently noted that growth derived from natural resources has not delivered goods in terms of addressing poverty due to lack of linkage to exploitation.
Olaoluwa during a media parley to hint the media on its milestone achievement under a new administration pointed out that Nigeria has not been able to develop its solid mineral space, calling on the federal government to fund a geological data in the country and conduct an international bid to develop the industry.
“Botswana has been able to make millions of dollars from gold mining. Nigeria should look towards this direction by investing in solid minerals where the country has a comparative advantage to diversify the economy,” he added.
According to UNECA, Africa sits on 30% of the world’s natural resources, and with 70% of coltan deposits (from which electronic microchips are made).
The Commission added, “the continent should be rich but too often those countries who own the resources are typically low income or underdeveloped countries with shortage of skills in negotiating for ‘win-win’ contracts. To rectify this, “we have to address issues of governance and leadership.
“There have been discoveries of oil and gas in many countries in Africa during the last 10 years but the way we exploit natural resources is important. We can use the benefits from these resources to address long-term development”.
The BOI boss however stated that the development finance institution has an authorised capital of about N250 billion, which he said N146 billion forms its paid up capital.
“We want to take steps to look at an alternative way of funding the financial institution because our capital has always come from the government. We are looking at other sources already,” he stated.
He said in terms of Non Performing Loans (NPLs), the bank recorded a relative high NPL in the past, but stressed that the bank had embarked on a number of initiatives reduce the NPL recovering loans that were not properly monitored.