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Jewellery Training Centres to be expanded by FG

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By Abiodun Okunloye

This initiative will provide valuable skills and enhance the gemstone industry.

The federal government is set to open jewellery training centres nationwide to provide young people with valuable skills for self-employment. This initiative aims to increase the gemstone industry’s potential to generate wealth for the country’s people. Dr Dele Alake, the minister of Solid Minerals Development, shared this information during a speech to graduates of the Master’s Jewellery Making Programme at the National Gemstone and Jewellery exhibition. The event was a collaboration between The World Bank-assisted Mineral Sector for Economic Diversification (MinDiver) and the ministry.

However, the minister emphasised the importance of jewellery-making in enhancing the Mining industry. To showcase dedication towards developing a top-tier jewellery and gemstone industry, additional measures such as establishing a promotional body and recognising key factors for success are being considered. In a statement by Segun Tomori, special assistant on media, Alake expressed appreciation for the efforts of the ministry’s management and MinDiver project officials in enhancing the gemstone value chain and advancing the industry in the country, as stated in a press release.

Growth in the market is expected to reach $255 billion value by 2025.

Furthermore, the minister expressed excitement about the potential for growth in the market, which is expected to nearly triple in value by 2025, reaching $255 billion from $99 billion. Nigeria’s gemstones and the sector are poised to significantly impact the Economy, with the potential to alleviate Poverty through job creation. By tapping into this industry’s full potential, it can stimulate Economic Growth, generate wealth, and open new Export avenues for the local economy. According to a recent report, a facility supported by the World Bank has participated in various initiatives and schemes to enhance the country’s mineral and mining industry.

Similarly, many Nigerian youths have been educated through a comprehensive Master Training program, with four groups consisting of 96 individuals each, and an additional 37 individuals have received advanced training in jewellery-making. Engr. Salim Salaam, the project coordinator of MinDiver, highlighted the exceptional talent seen in the jewellery displayed. Graduates demonstrated the result of their skills Investment, promising significant contributions to the growth of the mining sector. The display of beautifully crafted products exemplifies the minister’s advocacy for adding value to the nation’s solid minerals.

Certificates and packs were presented to the Laurel school graduates.

These gemstones and jewellery pieces are of such high quality that they can easily compete globally. During the event, the Laurel School of Mining graduates received certificates and starter packs as a token of appreciation. The school, which collaborates with the ministry to train young people in jewellery making, was a focal point of the ceremony. After that, the minister visited the exhibition booths, praising the graduates for their creativity and promising them government backing for their business growth.

Felicitas Ella, a trainee from Cross River State, expressed gratitude for being selected as one of the 25 participants in the fourth batch of gemstone and jewellery making. She described the economic skills training as life-changing and a privilege. Her feedback on the training was glowing, praising the trainers and programme coordinators for their patience, flexibility, and attention to detail throughout the extensive four-month training sessions. She planned to begin with the starter packs, start small, and then secure funds to expand the business.

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Lastly, Christian Okpara, an independent exhibitor and geologist, highlighted the Trade’s potential profitability for those who are well-trained in art and business. He commended the ministry for its training programs for young people in the country but noted a gender disparity in interests. Women were more interested in jewellery making, while men were more inclined towards marketing. This observation suggests that there may be cultural factors at play influencing career choices in the industry. Okpara believes individuals can succeed in the exhibition and geological sector with the right skills and training.


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