28 February 2013

Nigeria: Alleged Chinese Exploitation - Lagos Lawmakers to Investigate Market Row

Members of the Embroidery Dealers Association of Nigeria and Association of Nigeria Marketers and some market women and men in their hundreds besieged the Lagos State House of Assembly protesting against alleged Chinese's exploitation that has crippled their businesses in the State.

With their several placards reading "No more Chinese in the markets" "Fashola and Jonathan come to our rescue", don't let Chinese exploitation kill us", the people claimed that Chinese's exploitation has made it difficult for their businesses to strive again.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly Rt. Honourable Adeyemi Ikuforiji has directed the Assembly's Committee on Commerce and Industry to immediately commence an investigation into an alleged sharp practices perpetrated by Chinese businessmen in Lagos Markets.

Commending the traders for not resulting to violence during the protest, he assured them of the House's readiness to resolve the matter.

In his words: "It is the duty of the Assembly to protect the interest of our constituents in whatever situation at all times". And the Government has always been responsive and will continue to make traders comfortable in our markets".

While giving directive on investigation into the matter, Ikuforiji urged the traders to remain calm until the Committee reports its finding to the House.

Earlier, the Leader of the traders, Alhaja Risikat Odumosu had appealed to the Speaker to stop what she described as "exploitative policy of the Chinese in Lagos markets".

"We want to tell you that the Chinese have taken over our shops, giving out shops at rents beyond the reach of the tenants. We therefore need your assistance and prompt action. We are suffering in silence but want it broken now", Odumosu said.

The market leader, who lamented that the traders are absolutely powerless informed the Speaker that shop rents have been increased from N50,000 to N3million. According to her, the effect of the rent regimes has made the traders bankrupt. She thereafter appealed to the speaker to rescue the markets from foreign control.

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