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Politics of NIGERIA-SOUTH AFRICA INVESTMENT RELATIONS

September 8, 2019

OPINION
Although I watched a clip in which one South African yam-head was talking what amounted to arrant nonsense regarding Foreigners-South Africa relations, I did not know until my friend, ‘Biodun Bayo, mentioned what he calls the vituperations of ANC government and its senior officials.

Of course, like I said in my last post, Abacha’s Theorem 1 says “If a DESPICABLE CRIME ( Abacha said “INSURGENCY”(sic)) goes on for more than one day,…, government has a hand in it”

I yield the blog page to Bayo this morning as he says:

SOUTH AFRICA CAN’T STAND ALONE
by

Olubayo Abiodun

It is a lie from the pit of hell to conclude that South Africa does not need investments in Nigeria to influence its national wealth in the directions of positive growth trajectories.

Please, interrogate it deeper and you will understand that South Africa is enjoying stupendous leverage on the Nigerian economy. It is not for nothing that that $285m was paid ab initio to be allowed operations in Nigeria when MTN sought permission to launch into the telecoms market. By the way, MTN did not seek its exit for the over $1 billion it has paid over time as penalties for regulatory infractions. What about the amount so far paid in taxes, levies, rates and tariffs to the various tiers of government? If it is not lucrative in Nigeria, other South African firms like Telkom South Africa and Vodacom wouldn’t have sought other means to penetrate the Nigerian market. Ditto for other segments of the Nigerian economy including the financial services, retail markets, supermarket chains, medical services, technology hospitality and tourism industry, hotels and culinary services, health service, and aviation among others.

Business is good in Nigeria and South Africans recognize the massive potentials inherent and they have never looked back in taking their opportunity. Do not be fooled that South Africa is here to be Father Christmas. They know when to call it quit when the Investment climate or model is not profitable. I had active presence and I can tell you for free that when it became gloomy and the experience was glum, South African government owned Telkom S.A divested from the Nigeria based company Multi-Links Telkom it had hitherto acquired 100 equity ownership. The story of how South African personnel perfected the sad end of Multi-Links Telkom is reserved for another day.

But I want you to bury the thought that their investments in Nigeria is not adding value to the economy of South Africa. Go and investigate profit repatriation and several manipulations by Southern Sun Hotel, Protea Hotel, Stanbic-IBTC Bank, Shoprite, PEP, South Africa Airways, MTN and Vodacom etc. The sordid details will amaze you.

Nigeria is not the only country at the receiving ends of the xenophobia attacks. Other countries and their leaders too have seized the opportunity to express their disgust at the inappropriate responses of the South African administration to the racial and xenophobia attacks on other Africans. Like the Yoruba will say, the action of the ordinary South African citizens is akin to ignoring leprosy to focus on the treatment of ringworm. The real people pauperizing the ordinary people in South Africa are the minority whites who have control of the economy power of that country. South Africa needs laws that would address this age long economic disequilibrium which places the means of economic independence in the hands of the minority whites.

Go and check the statistics, despite the attempts to rehabilitate the blacks in that country with programmes such as Black Economic Empowerment Schemes (BEES), 80 percent of the arable land is still in the hands of the minority. Yet, while the elites in South Africa and I mean the political class continue to push out negative narratives about other Africans as being their problems, they continue to welcome wealthy caucasians into their midst to continue to strip them of their natural resources by redefining the monster of apartheid which eradication Nigeria and other African nations financed decades ago.

Let me ask, is it the petty trading, mechanic garages, retail shops of good and services that other Africans are involved in that will bring the black South Africans at par with the white minority?
Why are the ANC officials and other political parties pushing out negative storylines about other Africans doing legitimate businesses during their electioneering campaigns? Why won’t they identify strategic policies, programmes and plans that would evolve the blacks as joint heirs in the wealth of the nation instead of pursuing crumbs?

As a Nigerian, I would rather my people are empowered to run organizations as Chairmen, CEOs, technical experts, technologists, CFOs, CTOs, CMOs, COOs and CMDs among other senior level and middle management level officers rather than focus on cleaners, dispatch officers. I will prefer my compatriots to be strategic investors in blue-chip organizations, I will celebrate it when more Nigerians are evolving as entrepreneurs and Technopreneurs, startups, Angel investors and expats in diverse fields that can be exported to other countries where they can earn decent forex. These are the sort of things that the critical stakeholders should be focused on in South Africa and other African states.

What is happening is South Africa is the failure of leadership which is no different from what is happening in Nigeria and other African nations. If Africans continue to kill, maim, destroy property and investments of fellow Africans, how would Africans react to the racial discrimination against Africans as currently the experience across Europe on the lives of migrants? The vituperation of the Deputy Minister of Police Affairs in South Africa and traditional ruler in the Amazulu kingdom can only continue to spur irate citizens to see fellow Africans as foes rather than friends.

Such misguided utterances must be curtailed, and the next level conversation should be to sustain the integration efforts of the AU and various leaders on the continent. Otherwise those various efforts at having common markets, currency etc. will come to naught.

To those making some caustic remarks about Nigerians going to other nations to seek greener pastures, let me remind you, in case you have forgotten, that Nigeria is populated by people from other climes: Europe, North and South America, Middle East, and Asia who are earning legitimate and illegitimate incomes in our country. So, perish that thought on condemning those reaching out to other countries to ply their trades, skills and knowledge. There are foreigners who have found Nigeria cozy enough to even naturalise. Migration is a global human phenomenon and the story won’t end now.

Just my two kobo

Olubayo Abiodun

**My friend, ‘Bayo Abiodun, posted the essay on his Facebook wall from where I liked and copied it.

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One thought on "Politics of NIGERIA-SOUTH AFRICA INVESTMENT RELATIONS"

  • Good submission. We need to stop our perpetual self hate. We must chest out and hold our heads high. Outsiders bash us, we come home and bash ourselves further. Wetin?

 

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