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Nigeria Jewelry and Gemstone Industry is Underdeveloped: Minister Olamilekan Adegbite

According to Adegbite, local artisanal operators mine diamonds and jewellery, then sell them in an inexpensive price to foreign investors

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Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga is a graduate of Mass Communication and aspiring investigative journalist.

NIGERIA. Abuja: Olamilekan Adegbite, Nigeria’s Minister of Mines and Steel Development, has lamented that the country’s jewelry and gemstone industry has remained neglected and underutilized for several years.

According to Adegbite, local artisanal operators mine diamonds and jewellery, then sell them in an inexpensive price to foreign investors from Germany, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the United States.

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Adegbite made the statement during a graduation ceremony for 21 young people who had been taught in jewellery and gemstone production in Abuja. The World Bank helped fund the training.

Investing heavily in jewellery, gemstones, and gold, on the other hand, will provide the country with an alternative source of money for all of its budgets and spending.

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“Fortunately, our gold is exported raw every day, and when it’s processed into jewellery and gold by the countries that acquired it, it’s sold at an excessive price,” Adegbite added.

As a result, Adegbite recommended that the Nigerian government invest heavily in the sector to keep the raw materials for processing to add value and for people’s consumption.

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“The Nigerian government plans to construct a Gold Souk in Kano and a Gemstone Souk in Ibadan to facilitate the country’s gold and jewellery manufacturing and export the converted commodities at a profit,” Adegbite stated.

Adegbite further mentioned that the goal of the 21 kids’ jewellery and gemstone training is for them to be able to instruct others after they have completed their training to continue the process. To improve their morale, the trained youths will also receive beginning packs.

The training would also create more jobs by stimulating local jewellery manufacturers and introducing Nigerians to new forms of creativity and sources of income. Nigeria is a significant consumer of jewellery from the United Arab Emirates, India, China, and Europe, and the training received might also be used to reduce imports.

Dr. Sallim Salaam, Coordinator, Mineral Support for Economic Diversification (MinDriver) Project, stated that the training will begin in October 2021 and that the trainers will come from worldwide, including Belgium and Germany.

Peter Vermandere, a Belgian trainer, described the training as a large project in which the students learned new techniques for enhancing and designing jewellery.

Also Read: U.S. Mission Promotes Preservation of Nigerian Rock Art


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