Dele Alake, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, has expressed the determination of President Bola Tinubu’s administration to transform Nigeria’s solid mineral sector into the country’s new economic powerhouse, akin to the petroleum industry.
Speaking in Abuja at the graduation of participants from a jewelry-making training program organized by the ministry in collaboration with the World Bank’s Mindiver Project, Alake emphasized the government’s commitment to eradicating illegal mining through effective cooperation with security agencies.
He stressed that years of unchecked illegal mining had deprived Nigeria of substantial revenue and underlined the nation’s potential to play a significant role in the global jewelry market, thereby reducing the need for Nigerians to purchase jewelry abroad.
Alake pledged a concerted effort to combat economic crimes in this sector, highlighting the importance of the solid minerals industry in generating revenue, creating local jobs, and boosting the export value of Nigeria’s gemstones and jewelry.
The ministry’s decision to train 30 master jewelers aligns with the broader goal of economic diversification and holds the potential to significantly contribute to national economic growth.