- Stakeholders Worry Over Undocumented Chinese Firms’ Operation
Stakeholders have expressed concerns about the number of Chinese firms operating in Nigeria not documented in China, fearing that they may be conducting illegal business.
Mckinsey, a global consulting firm, had said that out of the 930 Chinese companies operating in Nigeria, only 317 were documented by the Chinese ministry of commerce.
In its new research titled ‘Lions on the move II: Realising the potential of Africa’s economies’, the consulting firm had noted that only 47 per cent of raw materials used by the Chinese firms were of African origin and only 44 per cent of the local managers at such companies were Africans.
“Nigeria does not yet have the same level of engagement with China as Ethiopia and South Africa,” the report concluded.
Worried about these revelations, the President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Dr. Frank Jacobs, said that the firms might be doing illegal business in Nigeria.
In August, 16 Chinese nationals were caught engaging in massive illegal mining in Zurak, Wase Local Government of Plateau State.
Jacobs said the Corporate Affairs Commission had the duty of fishing out the illegal Chinese businesses.
The Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Muda Yusuf, however, absolved Nigerian authorities of blame, noting that the fact that the businesses were not documented in China indicated that there was a failure in the Chinese system.
He added that the consulate of China should be involved in profiling and documentation of firms doing business in other countries.
He noted that as long as the companies complied with all Nigeria’s immigration rules and expatriate quota requirements, it meant that the Nigerian authorities had done their own part.
At the CAC office, a customer service clerk who spoke on condition of anonymity because he had no authority to comment officially on the issue admitted that it was not the place of the agency to inquire about the status of a firm from where it was domiciled.
He said as long as a company met all the requirements, whether it was owned by foreigners or Nigerians, the company would be registered.
He pointed out that there was no foreign company in Nigeria, adding, “Our business is to register companies and there is a structure in place. Every company registered in Nigeria is a Nigerian company,” he said.
The officer said, “Before registration, we subject it to a process of searches to verify whether the name of the company is available for registration in Nigeria as well as other tests. As soon as the company scores a pass mark, we register it.”