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NEPZA builds partnership to reposition precious stones industry

By Godfrey AKON

Yhe Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA, has said it is partnering the Ministry of Solid Minerals and the Gemological Institute of Nigeria to jointly adopt the free trade zone model to customise the exploration, refining, production and the marketing of variety of expensive gemstones.

A statement by the authority’s Head of Corporate Communications, Martins Odeh, said the move was in a bid to reposition the country’s jewelries and gemological industry.

According to Odeh, NEPZA’s managing director, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, made the disclosure, while playing host to a renowned gemologist and businessman, Mr. Tom Cushman, in Abuja.

Adesugba disclosed that NEPZA will continue to embark on the exploration of the global business space with the view to attracting investors to all sectors of the economy.

The NEPZA boss added that steps were been taken to secure the commitment of critical stakeholders for this lofty initiative to come to fruition.

“In the light of this, the Authority is going to open discussion with the Ministry of Solid Minerals, the Gemological Institute of Nigeria and other experts in the industry to establish the right kind of partnership that can scale-up the efficient and effective management of the sector through training and certification of qualified gemologists.

“Let me, therefore, express my profound delight on the visit of Mr. Tom Cushman, an American gemologist and businessman who is prepared to assist us popularise the Nigeria’s gemstones’ industry globally,” he said, according to the statement.

Also speaking, Cushman said the country was amazingly endowed with variety of solid minerals, adding that NEPZA’s decision to spearhead this initiative will help to attract huge Investments into the sector.

“Nigeria must leverage on my expertise in the training, identification, grading, and marketing of jewelries/gems so as to boost the economy more sustainably,” Cushman said.

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