- FG Promises to Secure the Value Chain of Gemstones
The Federal Government has assured gemstones miners and dealers across the federation of a continuous support and promises to enhance the value chain of the sector for more productivity.
The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari, gave the assurance on Thursday in Abuja while delivering his speech at the 2018 African Gems and Jewelry Exhibition and Seminar, AGJES2018, themed, ‘Mines to Market: Collaborating to Improve Industry Linkages; healing Africa through Gemstones.’
The minister said the government have a roadmap to broadening the capacity of the sector in improving the economy, in order to tap into the full potential of the viable local markets and also access foreign markets.
“This is why we continue to support the initiatives of the organizers in using this event as a platform for creating a viable local market and access to foreign markets for locally produced gems and jewelry.”
Bwari further expressed optimism on the solid minerals of the country, noting that the quality of gemstones from Nigeria is one of the best globally, “the beautiful gemstones we have in Nigeria from the blue sapphires at the plains of Mambilla to the amazing rubelite tourmaline that recently sold at 180 dollars per carat.”
“According to our laws, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development is not an operator but a regulator of the sector, but we realize that we cannot achieve the objectives of this government in the solid minerals sector without the collaboration of stakeholders.” He said, reiterating the federal government’s effort to support and collaborate with stakeholders in the industry.
Also speaking at the event, Barr. Georgina Ehuriah, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, highlighted that Nigeria-Africa mines about 30 percent of the total world solid minerals produce and therefore needs to tackle the issue of illegal mining activities and other impediments plaguing the gemstones market.
Speaking to INVESTORS KING on the efficacy of Mines to Market as regards to the impediments crippling the Nigerian gemstones market, Mr Johnson Nnadozie Nwosu, one of the panelist of the event and the CEO of Jonsyn Global Integrated Resources Ltd, a leading Nigeria-African company in Topaz and other gemstones exportation explained that a lot of Nigerians do not know the quality and quantity of gemstones mined, processed and obtainable in Nigeria, one reason the exhibition and seminar was set up to create awareness.
He further stated that Nigeria produces and supplies up to 80 percent of Topaz in the global market, an aggregate higher than what is obtainable in other parts of the world.
“Nigeria has a better future in mining, we have not fully exploited the potentials of the solid minerals in the country, what we have going on is more of a child’s play called ‘surface mining’, the main deposits are yet to be accessed.
“The future of mining is bright in Nigeria, especially in this times when the government is beginning to look into economic diversification, mining is the best option as it has the capacity to generate substantial revenue and boost foreign exchange,” he said.