OrderPaperToday – A Solid Minerals Development Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) bill introduced by Senator Yakubu Oseni, representing Kogi Central, has passed second reading in the Senate.

The Bill was read the first time on Tuesday, 18th May, 2021.

This proposal is coming on the heels of several similar legislative interventions in recent times in the senate, including a bill to establish a solid minerals commission, another to set up an agency for the sector, and moves to revitalize the Ajaokuta steel company, among others.

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Leading debate on the general principles of the bill on Tuesday, Sen. Oseni noted that the proposed solid minerals bank is a development finance institution that seeks to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development and boost the solid minerals sector.

He said that the bank will also boost the quality of life of the people by providing financial and non-financial investments in the sector with the major objective being to satisfy the funding needs of the solid minerals sector in this country.

“The principal mission of the bank is to increase financial inclusion by providing access to credit finance. The Bank will also support medium and long-term lending, with duration of up to 10 years and a moratorium of up to 18 months,” he said, adding:

“This would 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.”

He also mentioned that the enactment of the bill will be a perfect answer to the diversification drive of the economy outside oil as the proposed bank will be a major driver of the economy especially in the solid mineral sectors.

Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central), who presided over the plenary, accordingly, referred the bill to the committee on Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Development and Metallurgy for further legislative inputs.

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