By Oluwaseun Sonde, Abuja.
Managing Director of Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Abubakar Bello has said the bank is in partnership with the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to promote inland waterway operations on the lower River Niger and River Benue, which will de risk logistics for bulk commodities production that attract additional investments and funding to mining assets near the river channels.
He made it known during the interview section of the 4th annual mining week pre conference in Abuja recently.
According to him “On the inland waterways operations, NEXIM would soon be collaborating with NIWA and the Navy Hydrographers on the survey of the rivers to facilitate the publishing of a navigation chart to aid safety and logistics efficiency.
“With the survey, charting and proper channel management, the Sealink Consortium partners would be able to deploy various barges for bulk movement of solid minerals, thereby enhancing export revenue of over US$ 1 billion annually” he said.
He noted that NEXIM has provided funding support to quite a number of mining projects, especially in the metallic ores -lead / Zinc, Industrial minerals and dimension stones sub-sectors, among others in line with the Bank’s strategic focus to intervene in the solid minerals sector.
“Given the untapped opportunities in the sector, it is quite exciting for us because the Bank has lately received enquiries on investments and transactional partnership, especially against the current plans to de-risk logistics infrastructure gap.
“It is based on the foregoing that the Bank is concluding arrangements to introduce additional funded and non-funded instruments and diversifying modes of funding to support production and value-added processing and beneficiation”, he said.
He said NEXIM will continue to scale up production and investments in the mining sector to facilitate economic diversification and rebuild market confidence with an expectation for an outcome that will foster a viable, strong and globally competitive that would attract investments, create jobs and foster shared prosperity.