Nigeria Government has expressed readiness to commence the construction of an International Gemstone Market in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, disclosed this on Tuesday, in Ibadan, that the construction would be upon the allocation of a 2-hectare parcel of land by the State government.
Adegbite commended Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State for delivering on his promise to give the hectares of land for the Gemstone Market.
Economic recovery plans
During the official hand over ceremony of the 2-hectare parcel of land at Ojoo, Akinyele Local Government Area of the State, the Minister explained that the project was part of the initiative by the Federal Government to facilitate its economic recovery plans across the nation due to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy.
Adegbite, who expressed hope that the project would be completed as soon as possible.
He said the International Gemstone Market would not only boost Oyo State’s economy but also encourage foreign investments and impact positively on the Southwest region.
He noted, “This is an initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari. It is part of the post-COVID-19 palliative that is being done in the mines and steel development sector. It is to develop the activity in the sector within the six regions of the country. For the Southwest region, we chose to promote gemstone trading, which is already in Ibadan, in an informal market at Ojoo.”
“The whole idea is to formalise it as an international market and, of course, enhance the trade that goes on there and the benefits that will accrue to the federal, state, and local governments. We sought the support of the Oyo State Government to make things smooth, that is, to give us land and that is what we are actualising today,” the Minister stated.
The Oyo State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Barrister Temilolu Ashamu, who performed the handing over, said Governor Seyi Makinde remained committed to the diversification of the State’s economy through the development of the solid mineral resources sector.
He noted, “Under the chairmanship of the Solid Mineral Development Agency, as well as the Ministry for Energy and Mineral Resources, we have been able to reach agreement with the Federal Government to partner and set up a Gemstone Market here in Oyo State.”
Ashamu revealed that the citing of the market was part of the agreement reached with the Federal Government, explaining that, on completion, it would enhance the development of the solid mineral sector, the diversification of the economy and increase in the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of the State.
The Executive Chairman of the Oyo State Solid Mineral Development Agency, Mr Abiodun Oni, who was also present at the handing over ceremony said:”This is own part of equity, because we are part and parcel of this project.”
He adds that the Gemstone Market would boost the IGR of Oyo State and create more employment opportunities for the residents of the State.