The Federal Government has pledged its commitment to support trainees of its gemstones and jewellery programmes, to ensure that their output competes favourably with the jewellery being imported into the country.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, made this known when he visited the select Nigerian youths being trained in various aspects of professional gemstones and jewellery-making at the jewellery centre of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).
Adegbite, accompanied by the project coordinator, Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MinDiver) project, Engr. Sallim Salaam and the ACCI 1st deputy president, Chief Emeka Obegolu (SAN), said the ministry engaged the services of experts to train 40 selected youths across the 36 States and FCT to participate in a train-the-trainer jewellery making programme in Abuja.
The essence of the training, Adegbite said, was to ensure that trainees impart the knowledge acquired to other people.
“The target is not just to train them but to set them up. We are using state selection; every state in Nigeria is represented here and by the time the programme is completed, we are going to have a revolution that will multiply and engage our teeming youth positively,” he promised.
A statement by the ministry’s director of press, signed by Tony Ekpo, quoted the minister as saying the students are enthusiastic about the training and revealed that the second batch of training will resume in February 2022. The minister said he relied on the continuous support of ACCI to make the venue available as a centre for other initiatives yet to be actualised.
Earlier in his address, the ACCI president, Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, represented by Obegolu, commended the initiatives of the ministry and said the chamber is proud to support the ministry’s efforts in promoting the geological Institute of Nigeria and mining industry in the country.
A trainee from Edo State, Jessica Ogiuva, who spoke on behalf of her fellow trainees, appreciated the opportunity given to them and promised to share the knowledge acquired with others in their respective states, to add value to the gems and jewellery sector in Nigeria.