The Minister for Mines and Steel Development has disclosed that Chinese domination of the country’s mining sector, is adding little or no value to the development of Nigeria’s economy.
According to Punch, the Minister, Olamilekan Adegbite, while speaking at workshop organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Lagos Business School, disclosed that the Federal Government had frowned at the fact that Chinese businessmen and firms, alongside other Asians, are the major players in the exploitation of solid minerals in the country, with Nigerian operators playing minor roles.
He noted that the Chinese exported unprocessed minerals from the country without adding any value to the commodities, with over 35 million metric tonnes of unprocessed solid minerals reportedly exported from Nigeria each year.
“China dominates mining in Nigeria with minimal roles for Nigerian firms. The dominance of China and other Asian countries in the Nigerian solid mineral sector has contributed little to the value chain in the sector.”
However, the minister stated the Federal Government is committed to changing the narrative, and ready to enact policies that will assist in developing the downstream industries to add value to mined mineral resources, adding that for far too long, the sector had not been adding any real value.
“We are ready to change this narrative. We are resolved to enact policies to help develop the downstream industries that add value to our mineral resources, such as beneficiation, smelting and refining.
“For far too long, Nigeria has been unwittingly exporting wealth and employment, by not adding value to our mineral sectors.”
Meanwhile, as earlier published on Nairametrics, Chinese investment in Nigeria is worth over $20 billion and is still counting.
“The 160 Chinese firms operating in the country had also employed over 200,000 Nigerians. I believe the Chinese investment in Nigeria now is about $20billion and we have employed over 200,000 Nigerians. Our workforce is 95% Nigerians,” said the President, China Chambers of Commerce in Nigeria, Ye Shuijin.