The Chinese government has begun discussions with the Niger State administration over illicit mining activities carried out by several of its firms around the state, notably near Zuma Rock in the Suleja Local Government Area of the state, in an effort to prevent a potential lawsuit.
According to DAILY POST, the state administration has expressed worry over the activity of Chinese enterprises. Abubakar Sani Bello, the departing governor, has denounced the national monument’s degradation as a result of Chinese firms’ mining operations in the state and the nation as a whole.
Bello had urged the Federal Government to put an end to their operations, noting that the integrity of Zuma Rock would have been in jeopardy if a Chinese company’s mining operations had proceeded uncontrolled.
Governor-elect Umar Mohammed Bago, speaking at the conclusion of the meeting on behalf of the state in Minna, stated that the Chinese team, led by the nation’s ambassador to Nigeria, had come to explore means of “settling out of court.”
He claims that in addition to having a detrimental direct impact on the host communities, the illicit mining operations of the Chinese businesses have irreparably damaged Zuma Rock, a landmark in Nigeria.
“The Chinese have been our good partners [for a long time],” asserted Bago. But we must speak up without fear or favor and find solutions when they do things that are wrong or have the potential to undermine our mutually beneficial collaboration.
He said that the panel also considered more contemporary means through which the state government may collaborate commercially with the Chinese government.
Earlier, H.E. CUI Jianchun, the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, indicated that the purpose of his visit was to meet with the state government to discuss how to lessen and resolve the problem of illegal mining by some Chinese firms in order to improve their bilateral relationship.
“The two sides have agreed to expand economic ties. We hope that after the inauguration of the new administration, it will open more frontiers for business and development partnerships. Henceforth, the Chinese Government will ensure companies from China opportune to do business in the state do so honestly and legally,” he said.
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