By Adejumo Enock
The Federal Government has expressed that it’s ready to start the construction of an international gemstone market in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Oyo State Government allocated a 2 hectare of land for the project.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite disclosed this during an official hand over ceremony of the allocated land by the Oyo State government in Ibadan on Tuesday.
Adegbite explained that the project was part of an initiative of the Federal Government to facilitate its economic recovery plans across the nation due to consequences of COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy.
He added that the international gemstone market would not only boost the state’s economy but would also encourage foreign investment and impact on the southwest region.
His words, “First and foremost, this is an initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari’s part of the post-COVID-19 palliative that is being done, the mines and steel development sector is to develop the activity in the sector within the six regions of the country”.
“For Southwest region, we chose to promote gemstone trading which was already going on in Ibadan, in an informal market at Ojoo. So, the whole idea is to formalise it”.
Continuing, “It’s an international market and of course, will enhance the trade that goes on there and the benefit that accrues to the government, both the state, the federal and of-course, the local government.”
“We saw the support of the Oyo State government to make things move, that is, to give us land and of course, this is what we are actualizing today. We have land now. We can begin to do what is necessary”.
The Minister also expressed hope that the project would be completed this year, 2021.
He said, “What I can tell you is that we have the funding, the rest is human capacity, we’ll try to finish this as soon as possible. The government has done it’s best. They’ve given us the money to do it, now we are starting, you know how projects go, we have a site now, we are going to have an architect to design, we are going to have some other professionals in there, we are going to get the approvals, but this is a government project.”
The Minister added, “I assume we go through that phase very fast, but we need to do the construction itself and then of-course, commission it.”
“Before the year runs out, we should be here to do this, formalise and Commission this and I am sure the governor would probably be there, to cut the tape”. He said.