Efforts by the Gemstones Miners and Marketers Association of Nigeria (GMMAN) to ensure that the sector is properly positioned to become a money spinner have been applauded by the Federal Government.
The pat at the back was given the association when Prof Adesoji Adesugba, the National Coordinator of GMMAN led member of the association to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Feyemi Kayode on Thursday, 15th March, 2018 in Abuja to discuss the establishment of GMMAN State Chapters and the successful hosting of the first Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the body.
The Minister commended the members of GMMAN for their efforts at organizing and developing the Gemstones sector of the Nigerian economy.
He pointed out that it is important to take advantage of the gemstones value chain and not just mine and export it in its raw state, but move a step further by adding value before sending it to the market.
Dr. Kayode said the Development of the sector will go a long way in improving the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Nigerian economy.
The minister sought the assistance of members of GMMAN to ensure that exporters operating under their umbrella follow the legally approved process in the export of their gemstones.
He pointed out that the Ministry will always be ready to assist genuine exporters of gemstones and that the time is ripe to sanitize the sector.
Responding, Prof. Adesugba commended the Minister on his implementation of the Mining Road Map which he had initiated saying it has taken care of most of the challenges that were confronting the mining industry in Nigeria.
Adesugba said: “We are witnessing a rapid development of the solid mineral sector during your tenure and we thank you for making that difference in the economic Development of our dear country.
“It is on record that it is during this period of your stewardship that we have witnessed a tremendous increase in the contribution of the solid mineral sector to the GDP. It is also during this period that we witnessed the birth of the Nigeria Chamber of Mines, of which I am a Vice President and the establishment of the GMMAN.
“We are confident that with consistent efforts such as you have exhibited, the much touted attempts at the diversification of the Nigerian economy will definitely be a possibility”.
The National Coordinator promised the Minister that members of his group shall ensure that they add the necessary value to the sector and conduct their affairs in the international gemstones market in a transparent and ethical manner.
He also advocated special considerations for the welfare of artisanal miners in order to properly organise, build capacity for them as well as coordinate their activities hence, according to him, they are part and parcel of the value chain operators.