First Bank reiterates commitment to funding mining sector

First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), has reiterated its support to mining sector development and growth in efforts to diversify the nation’s economy.

FBN’s Group Head, Corporate Banking, Energy (Upstream and Midstream), Temitayo Osundosumu, said this during a panel discussion at the 2022 Nigeria Mining Week, themed: “Profiling Nigeria’s Strengths: Achievements and Focus Areas,” which ended in Abuja on Friday.

Osundosumu noted that mining is a growing industry, which First Bank will always support, saying: “First Bank is open for business and will always support the mining sector, and we have the expertise.

“We want the miners to speak with us. Most of the time, it is not always loans they need, it could be a banking solution or discussing with other partners on new finances.

“We have done this across our footprints in Africa and we are keen on doing it in Nigeria,” he said.

Osundosumu said the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has been taking a lot of steps to structure the industry, adding that artisans and small-scale miners are being put together in a well-organised manner.

“A good one is the Solid Minerals Development Fund. It is a way to de-risk all the issues in the mining industry so that banks’ funding will be applicable to it and can take the industry forward,” he said.

First Bank is open for business and will always support the mining sector, and we have the expertise. We want the miners to speak with us.

Also, the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Solid Mineral Development Fund, Mrs Fatima Shinkafi, said the mining industry in Nigeria is 70% artisanal, adding that the miners could be more productive if they were well-structured.

She advised miners looking for funding from banks to ensure that their firms had good corporate governance structure as well as viable products.

“Banks will only give you funding based on your cash flow. You need to have a product that is viable and your firm must have a good corporate governance structure. Mining is a science. You must develop data for future funding,” she said.

The 2022 edition of the Nigeria Mining Week is the sixth in the series, and was organised as an in-person event for the first time since 2020, following the outbreak COVID-19 pandemic.

The organisers said the conference allowed the entire mining value chain to reconnect face-to-face and explore the many exciting opportunities that the sector offered. (NAN)

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