Nigeria Will Become a Gold Jewelry Mecca, Says Minister

Nigeria will soon become a gold jewelry manufacturing destination, according to Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, Minister of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD).

Adegbite said this during a graduation ceremony for 21 selected youths who were trained in jewelry manufacture on Friday in Abuja.
According to him, the Federal Government is working to ensure that raw gold mined locally is valued in order to attract foreigners and make Nigeria a gold jewelry destination.

According to him, the workshop was held for the first time to enhance local jewelry manufacture, create jobs, raise Nigerians’ living standards, and increase their inventiveness.

Nigeria is a significant consumer of jewelry products from the United Arab Emirates, India, China, and Europe, according to him, therefore the training they received will also act as import substitution.
He pointed out that the country’s gemstone and jewelry business is still underdeveloped, with gems mined by artisanal operators and marketed as rough stones in Germany, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the United States.

He stated that adding value to Nigerian gold and gemstones was crucial to the present government’s diversification as it moves away from over-dependence on oil.

“We learned that our gold is leaving Nigeria’s shores in raw form on a daily basis for other nations, and that once the gold is transformed to jewelry, the price will be so expensive that the average person will be unable to purchase it.”

“We’ll keep our raw gold and add value to it before selling it to our people.”

We are currently constructing a Gold Souk in Kano and a Gemstone Souk in Ibadan, where we will turn our raw gold into jewelry and export it.

“We’ve trained 21 youths across the country as the first group to teach others how to make jewelry, and they’ll be given beginning packets,” he said.

The program, which began in October 2021, was supported by the MMSD and the World Bank, according to Dr. Sallim Salaam, Coordinator, Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MinDiver) Project.

Salaam stated that the trainers came from many nations, including Belgium and Germany, and that the trainees were certified after completing their training.

“We anticipate them to return to their states and start clusters with state government funding to teach additional people in gemstone cutting and polishing, among other things,” he said.

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

Ms Jessica Ogiuva, an Edo trainee who spoke on behalf of the other participants, expressed gratitude for the chance.

She vowed that they would share what they had learned with others in their states.

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