Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and Projekt consult are set to launch a strategic pathway for the development of the Gemstones and Jewelry industry in Nigeria by organizing training programme for its stakeholders on 7th August.
This is coming shortly after the ministry successfully entered an agreement with a German Consulting Firm, Projekt Consult, and its partners; Gemological Institute of Nigeria for the design and implementation of a strategy for the development of gemstone and jewelry in Nigeria.
The launch slated for the Best Centre, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the Gemological Institute of Nigeria and African Gems and Jewelry Exhibition and Seminar (AGJES) is part of key programmes planned by the ministry during the stakeholders’ workshop.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Abdulkadir Mua’zu will deliver the keynote address expected to herald a robust deliberation by stakeholders in a bid to develop a national gemstone sector strategy.
The project supervised and supported by The World Bank, under the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification Project (MinDiver), in the ministry, will focus on the design and implementation of a strategy for developing Nigeria’s gemstone and jewelry industry and the development of a skilled workforce in design and Marketing of jewelry.
Project Coordinator of MinDiver, Mr Linus Adie, said after the ministry successfully entered an agreement with Projekt Consult as the main consultants to design and implement a strategy for the development of Nigeria’s gemstone, the next step is the launch of the Project.
According to him, the formal launch at the stakeholders’ workshop will attract gemstone miners and traders, jewelry designers and manufacturers, crafts artists, fashion designers as well as government and industry representatives.
He noted that the Project will seek to investigate the Nigerian gemstone industry and its opportunities in the emerging market so as to reposition locally produced gemstones and jewelry in the marketplace.
Aimed at bridging the gap that exists between local gemstone miners and jewelers, he is of the belief that the Project when fully enhanced according to plan will develop and promote creative African gem and jewelry designs developed from modern jewelry-making techniques for easy sharing with local artisans and craft shops.
He said the Project team of experts, working in line with the strategic development plan will train Nigerian master trainers in modern jewelry -making techniques and fusion designs learned from the long tradition of jewelry -making in Nigeria.
Mr Adie also revealed that a fully equipped gemological laboratory and a jewelry making workshop are underway on the premises of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Abuja.
According to the Project Coordinator, MinDiver, at the end of the day, there will be a departure from the practice of rough stones being exported abroad and turned into jewelry pieces of modern, but non-descriptive design to emphasis on value addition in Nigeria to help encourage Nigerian artisans and craftspeople utilise locally produced stones and create appealing African jewelry that will reflect its ethnological and cultural roots.
He noted that the aim of the Project is to change the architecture of the Nigerian gemstone industry in a bid to creating a sustainable value chain for wealth creation and poverty alleviation