The irregularity of operations in the mining sector of Nigeria has continued to pave way for handsome income to Thailand’s revenue generation.
Nigeria Contributes 10% ($1.2 billion) to Thailand’s annual $12bn Gemstone revenue due to the ‘unorganized nature’ of the gemstone business in Nigeria.
The country is not only losing revenue from the untapped solid minerals export but also losing to foreign players, who seize advantage of the irregularity in the mining sector.
President Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Prince Adetokunbo Kayode said this at the first annual general meeting of the Gemstone Miners and Marketers Association of Nigeria (GMMAN) in Abuja recently.
He said lack of access to funds, market and inability of the critical stakeholders to organize the sector including less capacity needed for the job and lack of best global best practice in the mining value chains is responsible for the major loss in the sector.
Kayode who doubles as GMMAN patron was represented by the 2nd Deputy President of ACCI, Mr. Emeka Obegolu. He stressed that Nigeria is a land of gems while emphasizing that the vast deposit of solid minerals in the country should earn it more.
He said the average value of gemstone export from Nigeria is currently at $3 billion dollars annually but the vast opportunities in the gemstone business if leveraged on can boost Nigeria’s employment and revenue base.
“This journey started sometimes in August 2016, after I visited the Gem and Jewelry fair in Bangkok, Thailand at the invitation of the Thailand government.
“At a conference at that fair, it was pointed out that the gemstone industry in Thailand contributed about $12 billion annually to the country’s GDP. Of that amount about 10% of the gemstone was attributed to have come from Nigeria.
He pointed out that United States of America (USA), China, India, Switzerland and Hong Kong are major importers of gemstones as the world jewelry business may continue to rise to £150 billion by the year 2020.
“With this high demand in the gemstone sector, Nigeria has the potential to grow her economy through the gemstone sector especially now that the country is returning to the path of sustainable development through the non-oil sector.
“If available opportunities in the sector are leveraged on, gemstones can be an important source of income for a developing country like ours through job creation and empowerment.