FG launches first-ever gemstone market in Nigeria
The market would enhance gemstone trading and be beneficial to the Federal, state, and local governments.
The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development initiated the project less than 25 days before President Muhammadu Buhari's administration ends.
The inauguration event took place in Ibadan, Oyo State, where the Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, emphasised that the Mineral and Mining Act of 2007 supports individuals and families as rightful owners of mining sites, not traditional rulers.
He made this statement in response to a question from Oba Khalid Olabisi, the Okere of Saki, about the activities of miners in his domain and the need to encourage local miners.
Adegbite noted that the gemstone market would give Nigeria a competitive advantage in the industry. The minister had earlier mentioned the establishment of the gemstone market in January 2020, stating that it was an effort to formalise the gemstone business, which has become an international industry.
Furthermore, Adegbite revealed that the Oyo State government had donated two hectares of land for the market's construction. The plot is located in Ojoo, along the Ibadan-Oyo road, in the Akiinyele Local Government Area of the state.
"This is an initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari, part of the post-COVID-19 palliatives that is being done by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development. Its aim is to develop the activities in the sector within the six zones in the country.
"For the Southwest zone, we chose to promote gemstone trading, which is already going on in Ibadan – as an informal market in the Ojoo area of the state," Adegbite said earlier.
He also added that the market would enhance gemstone trading and be beneficial to the Federal, state, and local governments.
"Also, it will spur activities for people, enhance the market, at the same time improve the local economy and also generate revenue for the government, both at the state and Federal," he noted.
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