By Victoria Onehi
The Federal Government has commissioned the Ultramodern International Gemstone Market Centre and the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining ASM CLUSTER Project in Ibadan.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite who commissioned the Ultramodern International Gemstone Market on Thursday noted that the commissioning is an opportunity to highlight the efforts of the present administration to open some of the potentials available in the Mining Sector to serve as alternative revenue source.
Adegbite stressed that the concept of the International Gemstone Market was a crafted policy to spur job creation and capacity development of gemstones mining operators in Oyo State and environs, through the Economic Growth and Sustainability Plan of the Federal Government.
The Minister in a statement disclosed that the project houses several Federal Government initiatives geared towards curbing the smuggling of gemstones and other minerals.
He therefore emphasised hat the development of the capacities of Nigerian youths to actively participate in downstream gemstone and gold value chain is also very significant.
He therefore urged youths to develop their capacities to actively participate in downstream gemstone and gold value chain.
Adegbite further explained that the project is designed based on the cluster concept which has become a global trend in Industrial Development to promote shared amenities, agglomeration of similar producers, customers etc. based on geographical proximity and mineral endowment of rare-metals and gemstones across the country.
According to the Minister, gemstone market will create and generate sustainable competitive advantages in the development of downstream gemstone and gold mining industries.Also,it will increase the level of competitive inputs (such as services, machinery and equipment); increase the level of employment in all business activities related to the gemstone mining cluster.
Other significant advantages that will emanate from gemstone market as enumerated by the Minister include increase in the rate and exports of value-added products and services; attraction of foreign investments; ensuring that linkages and interactions are high-quality and beneficial; generation of new start-up companies; increase in trade performance and generation of higher corporate profits.Also, other benefits include improving mineral production output and ease of mining sector regulation and administration as well as the creation of more jobs through emergence of service industries due to increase in cluster activities.
The Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development,Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade in her welcome address expressed appreciation to the dignitaries and all attendees present at the Commissioning which she described as a historic event that will usher in a new era of wealth creation and prosperity in the Minerals and Metals Sector that will blossom in Ibadan, Oyo State – the Pace-setter State, and eventually spread to the entire country.
Highpoints of the event include the presentation of mining equipment to mining cooperatives and the Commissioning of the facility by the governor of Oyo State represented by Barr Temilola Seun Ashamu, Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources,Oyo State.