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45 Chinese arrested in Nigeria for trading

By Yin Miao (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

16:05, May 24, 2012

Edited and translated by Yao Chun, People's Daily Online

About 100 Chinese people were arrested in a national crackdown on illegal activities by immigrants on May 22, according to Chinese Embassy in Nigeria. In its northern city of Kano, the Nigerian immigration office arrested 45 Chinese traders, comprising 34 men and 11 women.

Kano is home to the largest textile trade market in Nigeria and in West Africa. Hundreds of Chinese shops are running business in this market.

Emmanuel, director of immigration office in Kano, said these Chinese are like "scavengers" who were taking jobs away from Nigerian people. But at the same time he denied that this action was taken against Chinese, saying that Nigeria welcomes Chinese investments and supports legitimate trade but prohibits those who entered Nigerian businesses and undercut them.

Emmanuel said that they were directed to clear them from the market and this was going to be a continuous exercise. The people arrested would soon be deported.

As the bilateral trade increases steadily since 1990s, the personnel exchange becomes more and more frequent. At present about 20,000 Chinese nationals are living in Nigeria and the total number of Chinese living in Africa may hit 200,000.

In order to guarantee the employment of local people and protect its industry, Nigeria has carried out quota control on foreign employees. Nigeria also has put a ban on textile import with the purpose of protecting its national textile industry.

Chinese embassy has immediately started emergency mechanism. It lodged solemn representations to Nigeria, visited the arrested Chinese and urged Nigeria to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese nationals.

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