Home News FG Presents Starter Packs to Third Batch of Gemstone and Jewellery Trainees

FG Presents Starter Packs to Third Batch of Gemstone and Jewellery Trainees

by Madonna

In a significant development, the Federal Government, operating through the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, handed out starter packs to the third cohort of trainees participating in a skill acquisition program focused on the jewelry and gemstone sub-sector of the mineral and metals industry.

This training initiative marks the third phase of the skill acquisition program, which is financially supported by the World Bank through the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification Project (MinDiver). For this batch, a total of 30 trainees hailing from diverse regions of the country were admitted.


During the graduation ceremony held in Abuja, Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, underscored the historical importance of these skills to bolster the solid minerals value chain. He emphasized that the commitment to fostering vocational skills training and thereby generating employment opportunities for youth had been pledged by President Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.


Alake stated, “With a robust participation exceeding two million Nigerians, the Solid Minerals sector stands as a pivotal national asset, holding the potential to unlock avenues for meaningful employment. Therefore, it is expected that these graduates will venture forth and thrive.”


Appealing to state governments, Alake encouraged partnerships with the Ministry to sponsor a minimum of 10 youths from each local government area for training. He highlighted the willingness of the Ministry to deploy expert faculty to states demonstrating readiness to empower their youth, facilitating knowledge transfer and practical demonstrations on employing solid minerals to enhance aesthetic charm.

In recognizing the untapped potential within Nigeria’s borders, Alake firmly asserted that Nigerians should no longer need to seek jewelry abroad. He argued, “The value of gemstones increases significantly with cutting and polishing. Unfortunately, a majority of gemstones mined in Nigeria are exported without undergoing any value-added processes due to a lack of technical know-how and equipment for cutting, polishing, and finishing jewelry. To bridge this gap, it became imperative to build expertise in jewelry making and design.”

Alake further elucidated, “The Ministry devised a comprehensive roadmap for developing Nigeria’s mineral resources, and the MinDiver Project has provided crucial support for its implementation. As part of our commitment to enhancing downstream sector growth and amplifying value addition to mineral products, initiatives such as this Master Training in jewelry making and design have been initiated.”

In his remarks, Engr. Sallim Salaam, the project coordinator for MinDiver, stressed the privilege that the graduates hold, having emerged from a highly competitive selection process. He urged the graduates to imbue the acquired skills with earnest dedication, acknowledging that the knowledge gained would be an enduring asset.

“The program was initiated in November 2021 as a part of the Ministry’s drive to fortify the industry’s downstream sector, fostering job creation, youth empowerment, poverty alleviation, and wealth generation,” said Salaam. He further added, “This training stands as the first of its kind in Nigeria, meticulously designed to equip individuals with the essential global competitive skills.”

Dr. Mary Ogbe, the Permanent Secretary, conveyed her commendation through Mohammed Suleiman, Director of the Human Resource Management Department in the Ministry. Suleiman represented Dr. Ogbe and lauded the Honorable Minister for his invaluable support in swiftly concluding the empowerment project despite his relatively brief tenure in the Ministry.


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