By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The much-awaited two-day seminar on gemstones and exhibition of products and equipment is commencing today, Thursday, October 19, 2017, in Abuja.
Expected to grace the occasion are the wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo; wife of a former Head of State, Mrs Ajoke Murtala Mohammed; some members of the Federal Executives Council; and other stakeholders in the extractive industry.
The two-day event, organised by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in partnership with African Gems and Jewellery and Seminar Limited as well as other stakeholders, would also feature training sessions on different aspects of gemstones business.
Already, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Kayode Fayemi, has described the programme as one that is capable of expanding business and investment opportunities in the country’s gemstones, adding that the ministry would continue to partner with organisations and groups in the bid to drive investment in the mining sector.
Mr Fayemi also lauded the collaboration of other critical stakeholders in the sector in ensuring the success of the programme, notably the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN); Women In Mining (WIM); Gemologists and Jewellers Association of Nigeria (GJAN); International Coloured Gemstones Association (ICA); Gemstones Miners and Marketers Association of Nigeria (GMMAH); Faceters Guild of Nigeria (FGN); Beaded Jewellery Designers of Nigeria (BJDAN), and Gemstone Association of Nigeria (GAN).
The two-day event is expected to bring together mining operators, policy makers, gemstones dealers from within and outside the country, artisans, manufacturers of jewellery equipment and financial institutions to discuss and exhibit current global trends in the gemstones business.
“Exhibitors from other African countries are expected to join their Nigerian counterparts in showcasing current trends in gemstones business, equipment and technology.
“Nigeria is endowed with abundant mineral resources and among the varieties of gemstones are: Sapphire, Aquamarine, beryl, emerald, tourmaline, phenakite ruby, garnet, topaz, amethyst, moonstone, onyx, opal, citrine, and zircon, found across the six geo-political zones of the country.
“The exhibition will provide ample opportunity to showcase Africa’s mineral wealth and encourage mining rich communities to embrace mining as an economic activity that has immense potential to transform not only the socio-economic wellbeing of the people, but also contribute to the national economic growth,” the organisers said.
Wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, would deliver the keynote address at the event, with theme: Mines to Market. She would be joined by Mrs Ajoke Murtala Mohammed in unveiling the Gem Tree.
Other highlights of the event, according to a statement by the Ministry, include exhibition of equipment and gemstones; master classes, where interested participants would be trained on modern trends in gemstones cutting, polishing, marketing and pricing, as well as fashion display and sales.
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