From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development is working at ensuring that revenue accruals from Nigeria’s mining sector are properly harnessed into the Federation Account for the development and benefit of the country as it seeks to deepen collaboration with China to develop the sector.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development Olamilekan Adegbite stated this when Mr Cui Jianchun, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China, paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry’s Headquarters, yesterday.
Adegbite, who noted that Nigeria has always enjoyed good relations with China, stated that investment by China in mining would immensely be beneficial to both countries.
The Minister of State, Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, reiterating the need for committed Chinese investors in the mining sector, requested that a Mineral Desk be opened at the Chinese Embassy for easy tackling of issues emanating from Chinese operators in the Nigerian Mining Sector.
He revealed that the highest investors in mining in the country are the Chinese. He stated, however, that most of them are illegal miners, saying many Chinese nationals have been caught engaging in illegal mining activities. He called for synergy in the area of combating illegal mining in Nigeria as well as solicited support in addressing this challenge to boost bilateral relations between the two countries.
Speaking, Ambassador Jianchun, noting that he has been in the country for 100 days, stated that it was time to leverage the good relations China has enjoyed with Nigeria for 50 years and deepen the partnership as there are huge potentials for Chinese investors and government in Nigeria.
Ambassador Jianchun expressed China’s willingness to work with Nigeria for the benefit of both countries.