Nigerian parliament condemns land grab by Chinese firms

Premium Times | 30 November 2016

Nigerian parliament condemns land grab by Chinese firms
The House of Representatives on Tuesday raised alarm over what it called, “the spate of land grabbing by foreign companies in guise of investing in the country’s economy.
The House raised the concern, following a motion under matters of urgent national importance moved by Sani Zorro (APC-Jigawa), which was unanimously adopted by members through a voice vote.

Moving the motion, Mr. Zorro alleged that Lee Group, a Chinese company, planned to seize 15,000 hectares of farmland in Jigawa.

Mr. Zorro said that a lot of people had been displaced by foreign companies under the pretext of investing in Nigeria.

He said that he was disturbed by the land-grabbing activities by Messrs Lee group in many states in the North, the latest being its incursion into Jigawa.

The lawmaker said that it was a ploy by the company to forcefully acquire over 15,000 hectares of farmland.

According to Mr. Zorro, the development will dispossess more than 10,000 peasant farmers of their farm lands in over 35 farming communities in Gagarawa Local Government of his constituency.

“The company plans to grow sugar cane against the will of majority of the people who own farmlands.
“There is tension and threats of breakdown of law and order in the area, consequent upon the company’s audacity to proceed with an illegal compensation since Tuesday, November10. “This is in spite of a law suit and stiff resistance by owners of the farmlands.
“We cannot build our nation if we continue to elevate the citizens of other nations above our own citizens,” Zorro said.

The lawmaker said that as public office holders, they had the duty to protect lives and property of the citizens of the country.

He, therefore, urged the authorities and the Jigawa government to resist any intent of dispossessing Nigerian citizens of their land and resources.

The Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, while ruling on the motion, referred it to the House Committee on Judiciary for advice on the next step to be taken on the matter.

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