The Chinese Government is in talks with the Niger State Government in a last-minute effort to avert possible litigation over activities of illegal mining perpetrated by some of its expatriate companies across the state, especially at Zuma Rock.
At the end of the meeting, the Governor-elect, Hon. Umar Mohammed Bago, who spoke on behalf of the state government, disclosed that the Chinese delegation, led by the country’s Ambassador to Nigeria, is in the state to discuss ways to ‘settle out of Court’.
He said activities of the Chinese illegal mining companies have caused inestimable damage to Nigeria’s National monument at Zuma Rock and directly affected the host communities in the area.
The Governor-elect noted that, although the Chinese government has been a mutually beneficial partner, the state government could not fold its arms and watch helplessly as its resources are being depleted albeit illegally and the environment degraded perpetually.
“The Chinese have been our good partners for long. But when they do things that are wrong or capable of negating our mutually beneficial partnership, we must not only say it without fear or favour but also find ways to resolve it,” he stated.
Bago further disclosed that the meeting also looked at newer ways in which the state government could enter into a business partnership with the Chinese government.
Earlier, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Mr. CUI Jianchun said he was in the state to jointly discuss with the state government on how to curb and resolve the issue of illegal mining by some Chinese companies and strengthen their bilateral relationship.
The Chinese Ambassador disclosed that the two sides have agreed to broaden economic ties hoping that, after the inauguration of the new administration, it would open more frontiers for business and development partnership.
Jianchun assured that, as a long-standing partner of the state government, the Chinese government would, henceforth, ensure that all companies from China opportunity to do business in the state do so genuinely and legally.
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