Oyo State government, on Tuesday handed over two hectares of land to the Federal Government for use as International Gemstone Market.
The state Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Temilolu Ashamu, made the disclosure while briefing journalists on Tuesday. The Commissioner, while handing over the land, expressed Governor Seyi Makinde‘s commitment towards the diversification of the state’s economy through solid mineral development.
The commissioner, in company with the Executive Chairman of the Oyo State Solid Mineral Development Agency, Mr. Abiodun Oni, handed the Gemstone Market site to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite.
According to the commissioner, the citing of the market was part of the agreement reached with the Federal Government. He said it would enhance the development of the solid mineral sector and increase the Internally Generated Revenue of the state.
He said, “This is our own part of equity, because we are part and parcel of this project.”
Ashamu said, “We have been able to reach agreement with the Federal Government to partner and set up a gemstone market here in Oyo State. 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.”
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Adegbite, said, “This is part of the post-COVID-19 palliative that is being done in the mines and steel development sector. It is to develop the activity in the sector within the six regions of the country. For the South-West region, we chose to promote gemstone trading, which is already in Ibadan in an informal market at Ojoo.
“The whole idea is to formalise it as an international market and, of course, enhance the trade that goes on there and the benefits that will accrue to the federal, state, and local governments. We sought the support of the Oyo State Government to make things smooth, that is, to give us land and that is what we are actualising today.
“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.”