Laments invasion by illegal Chinese miners
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The National President of Women In Mining Nigeria, WIMN, Engr Janet Adeyemi, Sunday, tasked Federal Government to harness the nation’s lithium and lead minerals as part of the COVID-19 economic recovery plan.
Adeyemi stated this in an interview with Vanguard, where she said the world is now on the fast-lane to switch over to renewable and clean energy, in which the use of battery technology is on the rise as most sectors including the pharmaceutical industry has delved into the technology.
She said the government should look inwards to invest and attract investors to harness the huge deposits of lithium and lead across the country that would generate foreign exchange far higher than crude oil and gas because the demand globally is high.
She said: “Battery is the source of energy the world is going to. Stores all overuse battery technology and Egypt is now using it in their pharmaceutical stores. They are using robots to avoid human contacts; electrical cars are coming up, ICT equipment needs a battery, telephones, and all manner of things.
“The place to look at is not just lithium alone because Nigeria is blessed with an abundance of other minerals, but one thing I want to emphasize here is that we are getting it so raw. “
However, she lamented the invasion of illegal Chinese miners in the country, who have connived with some so-called untouchable Nigerians to plunder solid minerals without prosecuting them when caught and arrested.
“The landscape is awash with the plundering of our finite natural resources. It is finite because there is no natural resources that are not finite including groundwater.
“Chinese left their domain and they are over 9 million square meter area while Nigeria is over 900 square meters, and they have lead and other minerals and yet their law says don’t touch it because the battery is good business. So they come to African countries that are fools and give something little and they begin to plunder.
“Unfortunately some were caught when we have a presidential order that mining should not take place in Zamfara and were given chairs while being interrogated. Where have you seen a suspected criminal is given a chair to sit, and the Minister of Mines and Steel came up to say he was under pressure to release them.
“So how can Nigeria develop as a country? Why don’t we build the technology and others? What is happening is plundering all over the place. People plunder recklessly and then pollute the environment, and then expose the people to great health risks.
“Like what was experienced in Zamfara and Niger States. How long are we going to allow this to happen? So for how long will they continue to do this? Because of corruption, people don’t care”, she stated.