The Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has commissioned the Ultramodern International Gemstone Market Centre and the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ASM) Cluster Project in Ibadan, Oyo State, as part of efforts to unlock the potential of the mining sector and provide an alternative revenue source for Nigeria.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite who commissioned the market on old Adisa Quarry, Ojoo Akinyele Expressway, Ibadan on Thursday, noted that it is an opportunity to highlight the efforts of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to promote job creation and capacity development in the gemstone mining sector, particularly in Oyo State and its environs.
The market, designed based on the cluster concept, houses several Federal Government initiatives to curb gemstone smuggling and enhance the capacities of Nigerian youths to participate in downstream gemstone and gold value chains. It is expected to create sustainable competitive advantages for the development of downstream gemstone and gold mining industries, increase employment opportunities, boost trade performance, and generate higher corporate profits.
The permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade expressed her appreciation to the dignitaries and attendees present at the commissioning, describing it as “a historic event that will usher in a new era of wealth creation and prosperity” in the minerals and metals sector, starting from Ibadan, Oyo State.
During the event, mining equipment was presented to mining cooperatives and the facility was commissioned by the governor of Oyo State, represented by the state’s Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Temilola Ashamu.
The gemstone market is a crucial step towards developing the mining sector in Nigeria, which has been identified as a key area for economic growth and diversification. With the commissioning of this ultramodern facility, Nigeria is poised to become a major player in the global gemstone market, while providing job opportunities and promoting sustainable development in the mining sector.