The Minister of Development of Mines and Steel, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, says that the Federal Government is ready to build a gem market in Ibadan, Oyo state.
Adegbite made it known in Ibadan on Tuesday when it received two hectares of documents of land donated for this purpose by the Government of the State of Oyo.
The land is located in Ojoo, along the Ibadan – Oyo highway, in the Akiinyele local government area of the state.
“This is an initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari; part of the post-COVID-19 palliative that is being carried out by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
“Its objective is to develop the activities of the sector within the six zones of the country.
“For the southwest area, we opted to promote the gemstone trade, which is already happening in Ibadan, as an informal market in the Ojoo area of the state.” said the minister.
He explained that the whole idea was to formalize the market, stating that the gemstone business has become an international business.
He added that the market would improve the gemstone trade and be beneficial to the federal, state and local governments.
“In addition, it will stimulate activities for people, improve the market, at the same time improve the local economy and also generate revenue for the government, both at the state and federal level,” he added.
The minister recognized the support of the state government to make things move, “through the donation of land for the project.
“We have the land now and we can start doing whatever it takes: we need to do the architecture, planning and construction of the market.
“Then move the informal market from Ojoo to this location after its completion,” he said.
He said funds for the project were already available, assuring people that his ministry would do everything possible to complete the project for its inauguration before the end of this year.
In your separate comments; State Energy and Mineral Resources Commissioner Seun Ashamu and Oyo State Solid Minerals Development Agency Executive Chairman Abiodun Oni unanimously stated that the project would complement the diversification plans of the administration led by Governor Seyi Makinde.
The duo also said that the establishment of the gemstone market would surely boost revenue generated internally by the state.