Abdullahi Dan-China, a gemstone merchant in Bauchi, has advocated for increased investment in the country’s solid mineral resources sector.
He said on Thursday in Toro, Bauchi State, that a proper harnessing of the sector’s potential through more investment would be profitable for the country.
“This will assist in tackling the problem of poverty and unemployment,’’ Mr. Dan-China said.
He said the mining sector’s development would not require huge financial commitment as obtained in oil exploration and processing.
“When you think of the nature of investment in oil, we can understand that huge amount of money is required to get to the source of the oil. In solid mineral exploration however, most of the mineral resources are on the surface in almost all the Northern parts of the country.
“You just need minimal finance to bring them up and polish so as to add value,” the gemstone merchant said.
He pointed out that some of the minerals available in just one local government area of the country constitute about 10 per cent of another country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mr. Dan-China claimed that some expensive refined stones brought from Brazil were in abundance in Nigeria without being exploited or even noticed.
“The beads brought from Brazil are a kind of stone that you find when you go to Miya in Ganjuwa Local Government or even here in Toro (in Bauchi state).
“These are the kind of areas wealthy people from the North should invest in to get the youths engaged. The number of youths on the streets doing nothing is frightening. Keeping them busy will reduce unemployment and criminal activities,” he said.
He disclosed that he had set up a foundation to fish out and give scholarships to deserving boys and girls to study geo-sciences and other related fields in tertiary institutions.
Mr. Dan-China said he embarked on the project to pass the knowledge he acquired in the field of gemstone development to the younger generation of Bauchi indigenes, as well as other Nigerians.