— Ekweremadu wants better welfare for Nigerians in Chinese firms
The trade volume between Nigeria and China for the year 2016 has been put at an estimated $13 billion, with activities in various sectors of Nigeria’s economy.
This is as the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, called for better working standards and conditions for Nigerians working in Chinese firms in Nigeria, following allegations of maltreatment of local staff by their Chinese employees.
Ekweremadu while receiving the Deputy Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Nigeria, Mr. Jin Ping, on a courtesy visit yesterday, also noted that there have been reports of illegal mining by Chinese nationals in Nigeria.
Details of the meeting were made available in a statement by Ekweremadu’s Special Adviser (Media), Mr. Uche Anichukwu.
“We have received reports of discrimination and mistreatment of our citizens working in Chinese factories in Nigeria. We want to see more of Chinese factories and presence in Nigeria to help us reload the private sector. But, we also want to see Nigerians who work in Chinese factories treated like their Chinese colleagues. We welcome you with open hands and we expect you to also treat our people well, like your people,” Ekweremadu said.
“We will also like to see that Chinese who do business here do it in accordance with our laws. We have heard reports of some Chinese who allegedly engage in illegal mining. Nigeria is blessed with abundant mineral resources and I am sure the government is ever willing to cooperate with lawful interests through licensing for the exploitation of these mineral in compliance with our laws,” Ekweremadu added.
The Deputy Senate President expressed appreciation to the China for its support towards Nigeria’s infrastructural development sectors such as roads, railway, agriculture, and power.
Jing, speaking earlier, called for the strengthening of already existing bilateral and multilateral ties between both countries.
China, Jing said, would continue to demonstrate its commitment to Nigeria’s development. He cited investments in various sectors to include $1.3 billion Lagos-Ibadan Railway Project, $326 million 30 rice mills projects slated for various parts of the country, the China EXIM Bank funded $984 Zungeru Hydro-Electricity Project and $450 million loan for the construction of Keffi Road.