Lagos, Nigeria — 05 July 2013 – The World Bank, Australia and Canada have launched a two-year programme to support mining and steel development in Nigeria.

The project is being financed by the governments of Australia and Canada for US$940,000 and US$950,000, respectively, reports This follows in the wake of earlier reforms implemented by the Nigerian federal government with the support of the World Bank’s US $120 million Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources Project (SMMRP) from 2004 till 2012.

“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%, but Nigeria has done well to re-invigorate the sector following the first five years of its SMMRP- supported reform,” said World Bank country director in Nigeria, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly.

She pointed out that the mining reform cycle normally has a long time frame of over ten years to bring its full benefit to the economy and the GDP. It is important for the government to sustain the reforms and continue to place emphasis on institutional strengthening, transparency, accountability, and governance improvements, she added.

The Australian government’s support will help identify mineral resource corridors; improve education and training for mining sector employment; as well as update the fiscal regime for mining; formulate an artisanal and small-scale mining strategy; and review the strategy for mid-tier mine operators.

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