- The minister of mines and steel, Olamilekan Adegbite, says some influential people want the federal government to free the Chinese nationals arrested for illegal mining
- Adegbite states that some Nigerians in high positions of authority are backing the illegal miners
- The minister discloses that godfathers backing the arrested Chinese are afraid because the illegal miners have started revealing names
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The minister of mines and steel development, Olamilekan Adegbite, has said some influential Nigerians are mounting pressure on the Nigerian government to free the Chinese nationals arrested for illegal mining.
Seventeen Chinese nationals were recently arrested by the Osun State Joint Task Force (JTF) for illegal mining in the state.
Adegbite told journalists that some Nigerians in high positions of authority who are backing the arrested Chinese men want the government to release them, The Cable reports.
He said the godfathers backing the arrested Chinese nationals are now afraid because the illegal miners have started revealing names of their backers.
The minister, however, refused to name the influential Nigerians he accused mounting pressure on the government to free the illegal miners.
Adegbite said the ministry is going to prosecute all persons arrested for illegal mining.
In another related news, two Chinese nationals have been arrested by the Zamfara state police command for allegedly engaging in illegal mining in the state.
The spokesperson of the command, Mohammad Shehu, disclosed this in a statement released on Monday, April 27, Daily Nigerian reports.
Legit.ng gathers that Shehu said the two Chinese nationals, identified Messrs WANG and CHUN are being interrogated at the command.
Meanwhile, Nigeria's minister of mines and steel development, Olamilekan Adegbite, has said that the federal government is considering allowing a waiver on import duty for mining equipment.
Adegbite while responding to questions thrown at him at the Nigeria-Canada Investment Summit 2019 in Abuja on Monday, November 4, said Nigeria's mining sector is at an infant stage.
He said such an opportunity helps investors to bring their experience and reap bountiful fruits for both countries.
He also said that the federal government has intimated the Canadian government of the many opportunities in Nigeria's mining sector.
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