Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has called on the Federal Government to site a gemstone market in the state to boost the mining industry.
The governor, who stated this while receiving the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite, at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, also sought the Federal Government’s support to curb the activities of illegal miners.
He maintained that the state had been putting some structures in place to enhance the development of its solid minerals for maximum benefit from the sector.
The governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, quoted Makinde as promising to build infrastructure that would lead to economic expansion in the state.
He said: “Here, we are putting up a number of projects that we think would support the mining industry, especially in the aspect of the expansion of Ibadan Airport.
“So, quite frankly, if we have the gemstone market, we will basically just take off from there to anywhere in the world and that is what we want to do.
“Ibadan used to be a regional capital and we have a fairly developed infrastructure. So, I think you should just give the gemstone market to us and let us sign it up this evening.”
Earlier, Adegbite, said the essence of the visit was to spread the gospel of mining to Oyo State and all over Nigeria.
He said: “President Buhari, since assumption of office, has tried so much to diversify the economy, especially through the mining sector and agriculture.”