Minister Says Nigeria To Become Gold Jewelry Destination
Nigeria will soon become a gold jewellery manufacturing destination, according to Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, Minister of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD).
News Agency of Nigeria
Adegbite revealed this on Friday in Abuja during a graduation ceremony for 21 young people who had been trained in jewellery making.
According to him, the Federal Government is working to ensure that raw gold mined locally is valued in order to attract foreigners and make Nigeria a gold jewellery destination.
According to him, the workshop was held for the first time to enhance local jewellery manufacture, generate jobs, raise Nigerians’ living standards, and increase their inventiveness.
Nigeria is a significant consumer of jewellery items from the United Arab Emirates, India, China, and Europe, according to him, therefore the training they received will also act as import substitution.
He pointed out that the country’s gemstone and jewellery business is still undeveloped, with gems mined by artisanal operators and marketed as raw stones in Germany, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the United States.
He stated that adding value to Nigerian gold and gemstones was crucial to the present government’s diversification as it moves away from over-dependence on oil.
“We discovered that our gold is leaving Nigeria shore on a daily basis in raw form to other countries and after the gold is converted to jewelry the price will become so high that common man cannot afford it.
“We are going to retain our raw gold and add value to it and sell to our people.
“We are currently building Gold Souk in Kano and Gemstone in Ibadan where our raw gold will be converted to jewelries and we can also export them.
“We have trained 21 youths as first set selected across the country to also train others in jewelry making and they will be empowered with starter packs,’’ he said.
The programme, which began in October 2021, was supported by the MMSD and the World Bank, according to Dr. Sallim Salaam, Coordinator, Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MinDiver) Project.
Salaam stated that the trainers came from many nations, including Belgium and Germany, and that the trainees were certified after completing their training.
“We expect them to go back to their states and open clusters with the assistance of the state governments to also train more people on gemstone cutting, polishing among others,’’ he said.
Mr. Peter Vermandere, a Belgian trainer, described the training as a large project in which the students learned new techniques for enhancing and creating jewellery.
Ms Jessica Ogiuva, an Edo trainee who spoke on behalf of the other participants, expressed gratitude for the chance.
She vowed that they would share what they had learned with others in their states.
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