The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite says government will strengthen its gemstones and jewelry trainees as a way of enabling them to produce high quality products that will favourably compete with jewelries being imported into the country. A statement signed by the Director, Press and Public Relations in the Ministry, Etore Thomas said the minister gave the assurance when he visited the selected Nigerian youths being trained in various aspects of professional Gemstones and Jewelry making at the Jewelry Centre of Abuja Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Abuja. Adegbite, who was accompanied by the Project Coordinator, Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MinDiver) Project, Engr. Sallim Salaam and the 1st Deputy President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Chief Emeka Obegolu, said the Ministry engaged the services of experts to train forty youths across the thirty-six States of the federation to participate in a train-the-trainer jewelry making programme in Abuja.
According to the Minister, the essence of the training is to ensure that the trainees are able to impart knowledge acquired on other people. He said: “The target is not just to train them but to set them up, we are using state selection, every State in Nigeria is represented here and by the time the programme is completed, we are going to have a revolution that will multiply and engage our teaming youth positively.” The Minister said the students are enthusiastic about the training and revealed that the second batch of training would resume in February, 2022. The minister said he relied on continuous support of ACCI to make the venue available as a center for other initiatives that would come up.
Speaking earlier, the President, ACCI, who was represented by the 1st Deputy President, ACCI, Chief Emeka Obegolu, commended the initiatives of the ministry, saying that the Chamber is proud to support the Ministry’s efforts in promoting the Geological Institute of Nigeria and Mining Industry in the Country. A trainee from Edo State, Jessica Ogiuva who spoke on behalf of her classmates appreciated the opportunity given to them and promised to share the knowledge acquired with others in their respective States so as to add value to the gems and jewelry sector in Nigeria.