Forty five Chinese nationals, comprising 34 male and eleven female, have been arrested and detained by the Kano state command of the Nigerian Immigration Service for what it described as “economic scavenging” in the popular Kantin Kwari textile market in Kano metropolis, northwest Nigeria.
Controller, Kano State command, Dr. Brasca Ifeadi who revealed this while briefing newsmen in his office on Tuesday said the mass arrest of the Chinese followed a directive from the Comptroller General of Immigration, Mrs. Rose Uzoma.
The controller emphasized that every foreigner who is not in the country to add value to the Nigerian economy, but to devalue it will not be allowed henceforth.
He assured foreign nationals who come to Nigeria to invest and create employment for Nigeriansthat they will be welcomed and supported by the Federal Government.
Ifeadi said the Chinese arrested on the first day of the raid on the market would be repatriated to their country immediately by the NIS for their involvement in activities order than what they declared in the immigration documents.
He lamented that their involvement in lowly rated activities which should be reserved for Nigerians have been depriving them of job opportunities.
According to him, the exercise which is on going and a nationwide directive by the Controller General of the Immigration is not specifically targeted at expatiates of the Asian giants alone, but all foreigners into such activities that could be termed as menial.
He said that even though the directive was a general one, it is however basically to weed them off from big markets in places like Lagos, Kano and Ibadan where the Chinese nationals trading within the market.
Ifeadi also explained that, “Chinese select basic areas in the country, but basically the exercise is beginning from three major areas of Kano, Lagos and Ibadan where their activities is worse. So we will fish them out and repatriate them.”
He explained that “Out of the arrested Chinese nationals, eleven of them are women and it is an exercise aimed at making the economy of the country healthier. Only quality expatriates would be allowed into the country, not those who are economic scavengers. They will be deported to their country.”
Ifeadi stressed that, “the Chinese nationals seem to be mostly affected now, because they are selling textile in the market. But that of Kano is worrisome. So, the Controller General feels that enough is enough and it’s going to be a continuous exercise until when the economy is revived.
“All those foreign nationals trading in the market who are causing economic havoc in our country will be arrested and deported to their country.
“For Chinese to come to our country and be selling textiles in our market will not be allowed. And we will continue checking them; arresting them and deporting them to their country.”
Pm News/ By Madu Nmeribeh/Kano