Hon Jaafar Yakubu, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on China-Nigeria relations, has emphasized that Chinese companies should not bear responsibility for illegal mining activities in Nigeria.

During an exclusive interview at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja, Hon Jaafar, representing the Bali, Gassol federal constituency of Taraba State, refuted claims circulating in some media outlets. He asserted that Chinese companies are in full compliance with Nigeria’s mining regulations, contributing significantly to the industry’s growth by providing essential capital, equipment, and technology.

The legislator highlighted that illegal mining operations often require the cooperation of local communities in host areas, who actively support and participate in such activities.

“Our investigations reveal a common misunderstanding of Nigeria’s mining industry. Generally, local Nigerians own mining operations, while the Chinese primarily bring vital equipment, technology, funds, and cooperate with local miners. The misconception arises from the presence of Chinese workers at mining sites,” he clarified.

“We have numerous Chinese companies engaging in legal and legitimate mining activities in Nigeria. My committee will undertake a thorough inquiry to uncover illegal mining activities in the country.”

Hon Jaafar further expressed his committee’s commitment to working closely with relevant stakeholders to educate Chinese investors about Nigeria’s mining and business laws, thereby preventing any inadvertent breaches.

“We will also promote awareness among local communities, fostering a more receptive and transparent environment for investors in the mining sector. These efforts will generate job opportunities, reduce poverty, and curb criminal activities,” he added.

Referring to estimates from the Senate Committee on Finance, Hon Jaafar noted that Nigeria could potentially earn approximately $3 billion annually from its solid mineral resources. He also highlighted that over 100,000 Nigerians are currently employed in the mining sector by Chinese companies.

“Supporting the employment of 100,000 Nigerians translates to lifting 100,000 families out of poverty, a significant achievement,” he concluded.


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