By Udenna Orji and Kasim Sumaina
Nigeria’s federal government has selected 40 Nigerian students from the West African nation’s six geopolitical zones to undergo an 8-month master training programme in jewellery design, stone cutting, stone setting, costing, market research and manufacturing.
The government said that the students are expected to go back to their states and open clusters with the assistance of their state governments to train more operators.
The nation’s minister of mines and steel development, Olamilekan Adegbite, at a stakeholders meeting in Abuja, regretfully noted that, “unfortunately, the gemstone and jewellery industry in Nigeria has remained undeveloped and mined by artisanal mining operations, sold as rough gemstones in Germany, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the United States.”
He said Nigeria’s jewellery industry can contribute significantly to national economic growth through ways like job creation along its value chain of mine to market, boost creativity of Nigerians, improve living standards of the citizenry, engender import substitution and make export contribution of over a $100m to the Nigerian economy.
He pointed out that since Nigeria is a large consumer of jewellery products from the United Arab Emirates, India, China and Europe, providing local but quality jewellery will save the country scare foreign exchange and encourage tourism and manufacturing of local crafts.
Olamilekan stated that to strengthen local production of jewellery, it has become imperative to train Nigerians in the industry for the market, adding that to this end, the government has developed a roadmap for the Nigerian gemstone industry after conducting a baseline study of the gemstone industry.
Nigeria has very few jewellers but at the lead is the very successful Emotan Josephine Aburime-Shine.
It is difficult, yet fascinating, trying to define the personality of music star-turned miner and jeweller, Emotan Josephine Aburime-Shine, the art connoisseur making waves at the top of four distinct industries; art, music, gemstones and jewellery.
This British-educated graduate of Business and Philosophy sits atop Emotan Global Ventures Limited, a successful Nigerian conglomerate that is into mining, music and media.
Piramed Ventures, a subsidiary in the Emotan Group of Companies, mines, cuts, and polishes gemstones which it later turns into assorted high-class jewellery pieces like Ear Rings, Necklaces, Rings, Bracelets, Pendants and Ornaments. The company also markets gemstones and owns a state-of-the-art Lapidary in Abuja, Nigeria, equipped with the capacity to handle any gemstone faceting and polishing work for operators in the gemstones and jewellery market. Piramed Ventures is believed to be Africa’s largest and leading market place for gemstones.
In Emotan, beauty and brains combine together in delightful symphony. Blessed with the brilliant business mind of a Wall Street banker, the art-sketched mind of Picasso, and the musical mind of a world-class orchestra leader; her complex persona and effectiveness in every area of her calling have endeared her to millions, in Africa and Europe.
But making great music is her first calling. With three successful albums, Fantasies, Do You Right and Alien Police and other well-received chart-busters from the velvet-voiced diva, millions of her fans and members of the public are left wondering how she manages to combine her rising music career with her successful exploits in the very-demanding business of mining industrial minerals and gemstones and fashioning them into breath-taking jewellery.