Nigeria to Become a Gold Jewellery Destination

Government planning to add value to locally mined gold by converting it into jewellery
Nigeria to Become a Gold Jewellery Destination

Olamilekan Adegbite, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Nigeria stated that the state would soon become a gold jewellery making destination while conducting graduation ceremony for 21 selected students of jewellery design. This first of its kind training was meant to strengthen the local production of jewellery, create jobs, increase livelihood standards and give expression to the creativity of Nigerians. The minister said that the training would be additionally beneficial as Nigeria is a large consumer of jewellery products from the United Arab Emirates, India, China and Europe. The training was sponsored by the MMSD and the World Bank and trainers were drawn from Begium and Germany among other countries.

The gemstone and jewelry industry of Nigeria remains underdeveloped, as gems are mined by artisanal operators and sold as rough stones in Germany, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the United States. Value addition to Nigerian gold and gemstone would be critical to the diversification of the current government, as it moves away from over-dependence on oil. Adegbite said, “We discovered that our gold is leaving Nigerian shores on a daily basis in raw form to other countries and after the gold is converted to jewellery the price will become so high that common man cannot afford it. We are going to retain our raw gold and add value to it and sell to our people. We are currently building Gold Souk in Kano and Gemstone in Ibadan where our raw gold will be converted to jewellery and we can also export them. We have trained 21 youths as first set selected across the country to also train others in jewellery making and they will be empowered with starter packs.’’

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