The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), has commended Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti state for his contribution and effort in the economic growth of gemological sector in Nigeria.
Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, NEPZA Managing Director gave the commendation on Tuesday in Abuja in a statement signed by Mr Martins Odeh, Head, Corporate Communications, NEPZA.
Speaking while receiving the governor in his office, Adesugba recalled the role played by Fayemi in the establishment of Gemological Institute of Nigeria (GIN) as a Minister of Mines and Steel Development.
The Gemological Institute of Nigeria trains students on varieties of gemstones, identification of gemstones, grading, appraisal and mastery of terminologies and the proper usage of gemology instruments.
The NEPZA boss while describing Fayemi as the “father of gemology in Nigeria’’, reiterated that the governor made the creation of the institute a reality.
“At that time a top official had stalled the process of registering the Institute for almost a year, Fayemi intervened and registration was concluded.
“The governor as the minister guided us through the process and today the GIN is a reality.
“The institute has secured close partnership with the World Bank’s MinDiver project. The institute now has a gem laboratory, training gemologist in a train the trainers programmes,“he said.
He said the support, which the governor gave them, then had led to the establishment of that institute, which allowed for the training of various youths who were in the field of gemology.
“The World Bank’s Mindiver Programme is presently supporting the institute and will soon start training of gemologists and Jewelers.
“Most Nigerians would not know the importance of that because of what Fayemi did, but he actually has shown us the quantum of wealth in this sector.
“We are always talking of other industrial minerals and oil and gas but nobody has ever looked at that sector that has the capacity to fetch Nigeria more than 10 billion US dollars annually,’’ the NEPZA boss said.
He said the governor had through his wealth of knowledge and good leadership, facilitated the establishment of the institute that could train Nigerians to be able to harness the opportunities in this sector.
Earlier, Fayemi had commended the appointment of Adesugba as NEPZA Chief Executive.
“I have a professional relationship with you when I was in the Ministry of Mines and Steel. You helped me with creation of the chamber of mines and you were a member of the roadmap committee of the ministry.
“Some of the things we started then have now resulted to what people are hearing about, for example the presidential initiative on artisanal gold mining.
“The resuscitation of Ajaokuta came out of that work, there are a whole range of things and I am glad that the new minister is continuing with that road map that we put in place,“he said.
Fayemi further extended invitation to the NEPZA Chief to visit Ekiti for on the spot assessment of the proposed knowledge based Free Trade Zone in the state.