The World Bank has granted 2.5 million dollars (about N412.5 million) to 50 small scale mining co-operatives in Nigeria, an official said on Tuesday in Abuja.
Mr Obiora Azubike, the Director, Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Department, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said each of the 50 co-operatives got 50,000 US dollars (about N8,250,000) through its micro-credit scheme.
The director said the miners and the host communities benefited from the grant.
Azubike said the unit of disbursement was 50,000 dollars. But before you are given the money, you are expected to also bring in some of your own matching grant, but not necessarily in cash.
“So, whatever you are able to produce on your own will depend on how much you will be given. But the highest is 50,000 US dollars.
“The World Bank Micro-Credit Scheme has ended. So, right now there is no World Bank Micro-Credit Scheme for artisanal miners.
“The one we had before under the Sustainable Management of Mineral Resource Project has ended.’’
Azubike added that the World Bank project closed in May 2013 and the last disbursement was before the closure.
He said the next disbursement was expected as soon as the Solid Minerals Development Fund begins its full operations.
The director stressed the need for the Federal Government to increase the funding of the sector through increased budgetary allocation.