President, China Chambers of Commerce in Nigeria, Mr Ye Shuijin, has revealed that investment in the Nigerian economy by Chinese companies has reached $20bn.
Shuijin, who is the Managing Director, China Geo-engineering Company, spoke with journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, noting that the 160 Chinese firms operating in the country have employed over 200,000 Nigerians.
He said, “I believe the Chinese investment in Nigeria now is about $20b and we have employed over 200,000 Nigerians. Our workforce is 95 per cent Nigerians.
“We also worked with the Industrial Training Fund to train over 1,000 Nigerians last year and we have similarly trained 350 Nigerians in agriculture export. We have sponsored 30 students to China on scholarship as part of our advanced capacity building for Nigerians.”
On if the Federal Government had paid off its debts to the Chinese firms handling various projects, Shuijin stated, “The government still owe us for the Murtala Muhammed expressway project in Abuja which was completed in 2010. In 2015, we faced payment issues because of the recession, but what we did was to ensure the payment of our members of staff, not only CGC but all our chamber’s members.”
He added, “Many Chinese companies had to bring in money from China to pay their workers. The recession almost wiped off Chinese companies in Nigeria. At the end of 2016, the government commenced payment, but we still have many challenges.”
Shuijin also debunked reports that ex-prison inmates were being brought into the country to work as expatriates, insisting that it was not possible to do such a thing, adding that the Chinese embassy monitored the Chinese companies.