Nigeria, China Miners Association Sign Pact
Abuja – One of the big takeaways in the just concluded Mines and Money Conference in London was an agreement reached between the Miners Association of Nigeria and their Chinese counterpart in the areas of cooperation, collaboration and strengthening of bilateral economic relations in the mining industry.
President Miners Association of Nigeria, Sani Shehu who disclosed this said he and Mr Peng, the president of China Mining Association met at the conference to firm out earlier discussions held on the need to do business in mining and promote solid minerals trade between both countries.
“We have been having discussions before now for stronger ties between the two associations in view of the fact that China is the major off-taker in Nigeria’s mining products.
“We agreed in principle that Chinese Miners should source minerals they are interested in through our association. We also agreed that Miners Association of Nigeria should be guaranteed reliable off-takers of mineral products in China through the China Mining Association.”
He said the aim was to prevent the present situation whereby some members from Nigeria make supply to China but experience difficulty in receiving payments and also avoid a situation where Chinese investors fall into the hands of fraudsters in Nigeria.
“We both agreed that such cooperation will enhance trade and investment between Nigeria and China in the mineral sector. We both prepared a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be considered and deliberated upon before we are invited to China to sign the document within the first quarter of next year.
He added: “We hope to sign before the next Mining Conference in China”.
On whether the Miners Association of Nigeria can sign the dotted lines on behalf of the government of Nigeria and other business interests, Shehu said the association does its dealings around the world in line with the law.
“Members of MAN and trade solid minerals operate according to the provisions of the law. As a recognised body operating within the framework of our laws we can sell to any interested off-taker including the Chinese without breaking any law. Indeed, as a private sector association, we feel obliged to complement government’s effort of reforming the sector, attracting investors and collaborating with Chinese Miners in the area of partnership and joint ventures.
We believe this effort should be seen in the light of supporting the government’s economic diversification and investment drive through the solid minerals.” He said.