FG to eliminate Illegal Mining


—Empowers 30 Master Jeweller Trainees

The Federal Government through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development has reiterated the commitment and determination to eliminate illegal mining with effective collaboration of security agencies.

The Honourable Minister of Solid) Minerals Development, Mr Dele Alake made this declaration during the graduation ceremony and presentation of starter packs to the graduands of third batch jewelry- making training, organized by the Ministry, in conjunction with the World Bank Assisted Mindiver Project.

Mr Alake stated that the menace of illegal mining that has eroded and deprived the country of substantial revenue will be nipped in the bud under the political will and firmness of the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

While hinting on strategic measures that will be deployed including effective collaboration with the security agencies, the Hon. Minister strongly affirmed that it will no longer be business as usual barring the identity of whoever is involved in this economic crime.

Speaking on the capacity building programme for 30 trainees on Jewelry making and Design, conceived under the ongoing minerals sector support for economic diversification project of the Ministry, the Hon. Minister stated that Nigerians have no business going abroad to buy jewelry in view of her large potential to contribute immensely to jewelry-making global market. He said: “the solid minerals sector is now the focal point of generating revenue for the country, it is now the next petroleum of Nigeria”.

He said: “It is a known fact that Nigeria with its large population has a huge potential for jewellery and it is imperative to create a local jewellery industry that would substantially meet local demand for jewellery products, increase import substitution, create jobs and boost the export value of Nigeria’s gemstones and jewellery”.

To this end, Mr Alake congratulated the 30 graduands for completing the Master Training Programme successfully: stressing, “it is my belief that the Jewellery industry when fully harnessed could contribute significantly to national economic growth by creating massive job opportunities…”

Furthermore, the Hon. Minister acknowledged that the programme had earlier produced 40 Masters Jewelers who were trained between 2021 and 2022 and today, additional 30 Jewellers are graduating. He also, emphasized that the pioneer set of 70 Master Jewelers will be a faculty that would train would-be Jewelers in the 774 local governments of Nigeria.

Speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Mary Ogbe, represented by the Director, Human Resource Management Dept. in the Ministry, Mohammed Suleiman mini; commended the Hon. Minister for his most valuable support enabling the completion of the empowerment project within his short time in the ministry.

Earlier, the Project Coordinator, (Mindiver) enthused that that the policy on value additional has been prioritized by the Ministry in the mining sector, stressing, jewellery making is part of the strategies for implementing the downstream value additional policy.

Alaba R. Balogun
Head, Press & Public Relations