FG To Extend Jewellery Training Centres Nationwide

Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake

Towards empowering youths with self-employment skills, the federal government has disclosed plans to establish jewellery training centres nationwide to boost the potential of the gemstones industry to produce wealth for Nigerians.

The minister of solid minerals development, Dr Dele Alake, revealed this while speaking to graduates of the Masters Jewellery Making Programme at the National Gemstone and Jewellery exhibition organised by the World Bank-assisted Mineral Sector for Economic Diversification (MinDiver) in collaboration with the ministry

He said that jewellery making adds value to the mining industry.
Other plans to demonstrate commitment to building the jewellery and gemstones into a world-class industry, according to the Minister, are setting up a body to promote the industry and identifying the enablers.

In a statement by his special assistant on media, Segun Tomori, Alake lauded the management of the ministry and officials of the MinDiver project for investing in the development of the gemstone value-chain and expanding the frontiers of knowledge in Nigeria’s jewellery making industry.

The minister said the government was keen to maximise the opportunities in the market projected to grow from $99 billion to $255 billion in 2025.

“The development of Nigeria’s gemstones and jewellery industry is expected to have a significant impact on the economy. This industry has the potential to create jobs that can help reduce poverty. When fully harnessed, Nigeria’s gemstones and jewellery industry can contribute to the local economy by generating wealth and creating opportunities for export,” the minister asserted.

LEADERSHIP Weekend reports that MinDiver, a World Bank-backed facility, has been involved in several projects and programmes towards the development of the country’s minerals and mines sector.

Along this line, it has trained four batches of 96 young Nigerians in a Master Training programme in jewellery-making and about 37 others in advanced training in jewellery-making.

Project coordinator of MinDiver, Engr. Salim Salaam, revealed that on exhibition were jewellery of exquisite craftsmanship, adding that graduates showcased the result of investment in their skills, which would contribute substantially to the development of the mining industry.

“The showcasing of exquisitely finished products processed from the nation’s solid minerals gives verve to the value addition policy championed by the minister. Our gemstones and jewelries can rival the best globally,” Engr Salam added.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of certificates and starter packs to graduates of Laurel School of Mining, a training school partnering the ministry in training youths in jewellery making.

Thereafter, the minister took a tour of the exhibition stands, applauding the ingenuity of graduates whilst assuring them of the federal government’s support for the expansion of their business.

One of the 25 trainees in gemstone and jewellery making in the fourth batch, Felicitas Ella from Cross River state, said she was privileged to be included in the life-changing economic skills.

She described the training as ‘impactful’ even as she commended the trainers and the programme coordinators for their patience, accommodation and thoroughness during the four-month training programmes.

According to her, she will use the starter packs to start small and seek funds to grow the business.

An independent exhibitor and geologist, Christian Okpara, who came for the show from Jos, said the business is lucrative if one is well trained in the art and business of the trade.

He noted that women were more into jewellery making while men were more into marketing, even as he praised the ministry for training young Nigerians in the business.

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