Nigeria will be gemstone, jewelry destination soon, Mines Minister assures graduant trainees


By Agatha Chitumu, Abuja


Daily Courier – The Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Ach. Olamilekan Adegbite has restated that Nigeria will soon be gemstone and jewelry destination for other countries.

The Minister gave the hint Friday at the graduation ceremony for first batch of the gemstone and jewelry making trainees of the Abuja Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

He told the 21 graduands of Gemstones and Jewelry Trainings that in no distant time, “we will export finished jewelries which would increase the sector’s contribution to the GDP.”

Adegbite who commended them for their resilience, dedication, enthusiasm and perseverance throughout the duration added that the seven (7) months training was part of the Federal Government’s efforts at discouraging exportation of raw ore.

He assured that his Ministry would ensure that whatever is produced in the country is also processed in Nigeria.

According to him, the move would create jobs and wealth for the youth.

On the essence of the programme, he said; “this programme was designed to impart knowledge on you, so that we can make jewelries in Nigeria, we are going to retain our gold and gemstones in Nigeria, add value to it, sell to our people and export to other countries. He added that

The Minister noted further that the Gemstones and Jewelry trainees would feed into the gold souk and the gemstone market being constructed in Kano and Ibadan respectively.

Adegbite charged them to impart the knowledge they have acquired to others in their communities, saying, “The best gift you can impart on anyone is knowledge and this is what you have been endowed with. What you have acquired in the last seven (7) months is to help yourselves to be engaged meaningfully and fruitfully but more importantly, to help this country to move forward, create employment and combat youth restiveness, he added”.

“You will not be cast adrift, we are working with your State Governments to provide space where you can operate while we empower you with equipments and materials to practice your skills”, Adegbite further assured them as he disclosed that the second phase of the training is in progress.

While making a remarks at the ceremony, the Project Coordinator, Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MinDiver) Project, Engr. Sallim Salaam, appreciated the commitment and support of the leadership of the Ministry led by the Hon. Minister which he believed culminated into the success of the project.

He commended the doggedness of the 21 participants of the first batch of the training for staying through to the end.

The Project Coordinator disclosed that there are plans for advanced training for the 21 successful master training graduands, this, he said would be communicated to them in due course.

In a closing remarks,the Senior Technical Adviser, MINDIVER Project, Mr. Linus Adie stated that in the next few years, the Honourable Minister will look back and be very proud that he put in all his energy to ensure that the Ministry and MINDIVER see the program come to a reality.

Mr. Adie who expressed hisp happiness to be “part and parcel” of the MINDIVER and how the Minister has driven them to be what it is today.

In the same vein, he congratulated the Honourable Minister for the award given to Mining Cadestra last week, we are very proud that it is the activities of the MINDIVER that led to the Mining Cadestra winning the award. We have no doubt that you will continue to lead us to any height we wish to attain. He said the essence of the program is for Nigerians to stop buying jewelries outside the Country.

Speaking on behalf of other graduants, one of the graduands from Edo States, Jessica Ogievaz said they have gained so much skills and knowledge throughout the program, saying as the first beneficiaries of the program, they are aware that a lot of eyes are on them to show what they have learnt.

“Hopefully, with a good empowerment, they will be able to strengthen the local jewelry sector of Nigeria which is the goal of the project.”

Tony Ekpo represented the Director Press at the event.