The various incentives by the Federal government to woo foreign investors into the country in other to fast track developments seems to have become a curse instead of a blessing to many Nigerians as these foreigners in most cases have been alleged to subject Nigerians to harsh inhumane working conditions while they benefit massively from the natural deposits of the country.
In a petition by some human rights NGOs and investigative journalists, SecretReporters gathered that Nigerians who work with SCC Nigeria Limited; a mining company operating in Zurak, Plateau State, are subjected to the most inhumane working conditions in the history of foreign companies operations in the country.
Findings showed that while these supposed expatriates retire to their posh comfortable residence after the day’s mining activity, Nigerian workers are jam-packed into an open container without any beddings, mosquito nets or mobile hospitals while others sleep in the open mining site under life-threatening cold as Plateau state is known to have one of the coldest climates in Nigeria.
With no provision of any form of toilet facility or sanitary arrangements and not able to return home after the day’s job, the workers we learned are left without an option but to practice open defection as well as bath in the open.
Operating with reckless abandon, more findings showed that the mining company which seemed to have just mobilized to Zurak, Plateau State without providing basic amenities for its workers, subjected the workers to drinking and cooking with water laden with lead and other dangerous toxins as no provision was made for clean running water by the company. An action which in no time will result in a fatal health disaster occasioned by the constant intake of the toxic substances.
According to the petition, SCC Nigeria Limited was also alleged to have brazenly engaged in corrupt and fraudulent practices by falsifying papers used in the importation of vehicles into the country. While the information on the clearing papers showed that the imported vehicles were fairly used, it was, however, discovered that they were brand new Hilux vehicles.
As a cover-up, it was alleged that the management of SCC offered bribes to the officers on duty to turn a blind eye to the crime; an offer which was promptly rejected by the officers.
Furthermore, in a flagrant violation of the Federal government directives that every individual entering into the country must be isolated and quarantined for 14 days following the COVID19 outbreak, it was revealed that three expatriates working with the company upon their return from an overseas trip, in their isolation facility in Ushafa, Bwari Area Council, not minding if they had contacted the viral disease, invited six commercial sex workers on the first day of their quarantine.
It is believed that the relevant agencies saddled with the responsibility of checkmating the company’s numerous malfeasances may have turned a blind eye probably because they get kickbacks from them, hence the plights of the workers in the mines which are of less concern to them.
In line with the ethical practice of balanced reportage, when contacted for his reaction to the allegation, the PRO of the company Mr Samuel Umoh refused to comment on the issue. “Sorry I can’t speak to you,” he said. “…if you have something official then go to the office and make enquiries about anything you have, please have a good day” he added while refusing to identify himself as the Public Relations Officer of the Company.