The Oyo State Government has handed over two hectares of land to the Federal Government for use as International Gemstone Market.
The Oyo State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Barrister Temilolu ‘Seun Ashamu, who performed the handing over on Tuesday, January 12, 2021, said Governor Seyi Makinde remained committed towards the diversification of the State’s economy through the development of the solid mineral resources sector.
According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa, the Commissioner, who was with the Executive Chairman of the State Solid Mineral Development Agency, Mr Abiodun Oni, handed the Gemstone Market located at Ojoo area of Ibadan, to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite.
The Commissioner stated that the siting of the market was part of the agreement reached with the Federal Government, explaining that, on completion, it will enhance the development of the solid mineral sector and increase the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of the State.
In his remark, Mr Oni equally explained that the Gemstone Market will boost the IGR of the State and create more employment opportunities for residents of the State, saying: “This is our own part of equity, because we are part and parcel of this project.”
While speaking, Mr Ashamu said: “If you recall, His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde, has always maintained that he wants to diversify the economy of Oyo State and that mineral resources is going to play a significant role in increasing of our IGR and the diversification of the economy. So, under the chairmanship of the Solid Mineral Development Agency, as well as the Ministry for Energy and Mineral Resources, we have been able to reach agreement with the Federal Government to partner and set up a gemstone market here in Oyo State. And what we are here to do today is to formally handover the land so that development can commence in earnest. The land is about two hectares.”
In his response, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Adegbite, commended the State Governor for delivering on his promise to give the hectares of land for the gemstone market.
He said the initiative was part of the post-COVID-19 palliative for the mines and steel development sector in six regions of the country, adding that the market will promote gemstone trading within the region.
Arc. Adegbite further explained that the market will spur activities for people, enhance commerce and, at the same time, improve the local economy and generate revenue for the Government at the national and sub-national levels.
The Minister said: “We have the fund, the rest is human capacity. We will try our best to finish this as soon as possible. The Government has done its best by giving us money to do it.”