By Danladi Al-Hassan
Olamilekan Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Tuesday, disclosed that the ministry will establish gemstone laboratories in the country.
Adegbite, who was on a familiarization tour at the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), said the government will soon stop the outsourcing of gemstones from the country to other countries for referencing.
He also tasked the NGSA to look into the establishment of gemstone laboratories that have huge potential to generate revenue and create jobs, as well as develop human resource capital that would help it attain the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) standard and certification that would establish the laboratories.
“The Agency should train competent staff and develop gemstone laboratories that would enable the country to certify the genuineness of precious stones locally, instead of out-sourcing and referencing in other countries.
“The management of NGSA should focus on developing capacity in order to attain the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) certification in order to generate revenue for the nation.
“Establishment of certification gemstone laboratories would generate revenue for the country. The certification and repair of faulty equipment locally would not only save money for the country but would also generate revenue,” Adegbite said.
Adegbite commended the effort of the staff of NGSA and encouraged them to do more in service to the nation and not top relent in giving their best.
Engineer Abdulrazak Garba, the Director-General, NGSA, assured that the agency will continue to discharge its mandate according to the Act establishing it.
Garba said the agency has been delivering services that have led to the generation of geological data and maps for industry operators and potential investors.
“Generation of an interactive map on gemstones, would give first-hand information to foreign investors, and the Agency is committed to working with the Ministry to achieve greater success”, he said.