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Senate considers bank for solid minerals’ development



Senate has passed for second reading, a bill to establish Solid Minerals Development Bank of Nigeria to ensure adequate funding of the solid minerals sector in the country.
Leading debate on the bill before its passage, the sponsor, Senator Yakubu Oseni (APC Kogi Central) also explain that the bank is a development finance institution that seeks to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development and boost the solid minerals sector as well as the quality of life of the people by providing financial and non-financial investments in the sector.
He said: “The principal mission of the bank is to increase financial inclusion by providing access to credit finance.
“The bank will also support medium to long-term lending, with duration of up to 10 years and a moratorium of up to 18 months which will enable borrowers in the sectors to have a lengthy period to repay the loans from the Solid Minerals Development Bank unlike the deposit money or commercial banks.”
The lawmaker further stated that the aims and objectives of the bank is to “provide loans to small, medium and large industrial enterprises, especially mining, quarrying, manufacturing and ancillary industrial support services.”
Others, he listed are to “provide short, medium and long term financing to participating financial institutions for on-loading to small scale, medium and industrial enterprises and projects especially in mining, quarrying and ancillary industrial support services; and where considered appropriate provide financing directly for the attainment of any of the stated aims and objectives of the Bank under this Act.
“Facilitate the provision of loans with five to ten years maturity including a grace period of one to three years, depending on the nature of the enterprise or project and loanable funds available to the bank.
“Provide working capital loans to eligible enterprise where the projects are unable to secure same from the banking system.
“Provide such loans either in Naira or in foreign currencies or both, depending on the sources of funds available to the banks for the
requirements of the eligible enterprise or project;
“Subject to the approval of the Minister, raise loans from the local and international capital market and from bi-lateral and multi-lateral sources from time to time as the market institution permits.
“Carry out any other activities as may be considered necessary for the
attainment of the above stated aims and objectives and such other activities as may be deemed appropriate to ensure the continued existence of the bank.”
Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over the plenary, referred the bill to the Committee on Solid Minerals for more legislative inputs and report back within four weeks.

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