Connect with us

News

Trade Imbalance: Dark Cloud Hangs over Nigeria, SA Relations

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Like a wild wind, South African companies have completely overrun Nigeria leaving the country and its nationals at the outskirt of the economy seen as one of the largest and most financially rewarding on the African continent, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek can now reveal.
The reverse is the case in South Africa as Nigerians and their businesses suffer discrimination and exclusion.
South Africa’s invasion and resultant control of the economy was helped by Nigeria’s desperation for foreign investments and hasty opening up of the sectors before the right conditions are present.
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek gathered that unlike South Africa, there is currently no restriction on foreign nationals or foreign entities doing business in Nigeria as they are only required to incorporate a local vehicle registered with Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) before commencing business.
But in South Africa, there have been reports of how South African authorities insist on stringent measures against Nigerian businesses.
For instance, Main One, a trans-Atlantic submarine fibre-optic cable network promoted by Main Street Technologies was reportedly denied landing on the ground that nationals of the former apartheid enclave do not have controlling shares in the company.
Seizing the opportunities presented by Nigeria’s lax environment, South African entrepreneurs who have built up capacities (technical, financials and other know-how) during the prolonged apartheid regime started heading to Nigeria in the mid 90s.
Unlike their home country with a little over 47-million people, the market in Nigeria with more than 150 million people is still largely untapped.
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek gathered today, from information and communications technologies (ICTs), shopping, tourism, construction, energy, aviation, entertainment to revenue collection, South African firms are in control.
In South Africa, apart from hundreds of Nigerian expatriates in that country’s schools, hospitals, manufacturing firms, there is no record of Nigerian businesses.
Even the ballot papers used in the 2007 general elections in Nigeria were printed in South Africa.
The bad news is that rather than enjoy the benefits of the influx of the foreign companies, Nigerian economy is under pressure as the foreign firms determine what to produce and at what price Nigerians must buy.
Most of the foreign businesses are also perversely established as portfolio investment in paper assets that could quickly flow back out of the country.
Patrick Omokhidion, a security adviser said, “the security and economy implication will be far reaching at the end of the day.”
He said further “if South Africans suddenly withdraw from the country, Nigeria will be worse than Somalia, recall what happened to Asian countries when some portfolio investors left overnight.”
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek gathered that the control of country’s economy by the South Africans started sore-footedly at the end of the obnoxious apartheid regime in 1994 and has over the last 11 years turned to an invasion.
Nigeria’s notoriety as haven for scams, worsening human rights records and one of the world’s most corrupt nations did not deter the aggressive South Africans. Not even the dearth of infrastructure.
The South Africans have been painstaking and deliberate in choosing the sectors they are dominating now. The sectors they play in are all essential.
Tola Awe, a public affairs commentator, said that South Africans are filling the voids left by Nigeria’s heartless and visionless administrators with fixation for accumulation of wealth for their children unborn.
But who will blame the South Africans who have kept faith with Nigeria as the Western world, shocked by the brazen pillage of Nigeria by its own citizens shunned the largest country on the African continent. Successive military rule and record of policy summersaults did not help matters.
Suddenly realizing that bilateral relations between the two countries are skewed in favour of the South African, Nigeria is now crying foul.
But as Nigeria cry, South African entrepreneurs smile to the banks here while there were little or no opportunities for Nigerians to do real business in the opposite direction.
Goodluck Jonathan, acting President was even more vocal November last year at celebrations to mark a decade of bilateral ties under the aegis of the Nigeria/South Africa Bi-National Commission (BNC).
“Some Nigerians have questioned the very rationale for the BNC if our relations and the benefits they confer are so skewed and if South African authorities are engaged in alleged acts of discrimination against Nigerian visitors, residents and businesses in South Africa,” he said.
Patiently waiting for Jonathan to finish, Bongi Maria Ntuli, South Africa’s deputy Trade and Industry minister said that Nigeria is her country’s second largest trading partner on the continent.
“As an open economy, we welcome new investment and collaborative partnerships in key areas of opportunity – all uniquely poised to deliver real competitive advantage,” Ntuli said.
BNC, founded a little over 10 years is still dogged by problems of handshake across the borders, visa restrictions and unnecessary bickering.
Since the launch of the BNC, trade between the two African economic giants has leapt from $16.5 million in 1999 to $2.1 billion in 2008.
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations however revealed that the balance of trade is in favour of the South Africans.
Proffering solution, Emmanuel Ekuwem, president, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (Atcon) urged the two countries go to the negotiation table and iron out the grey areas in their relationship.
He insisted that there must a symbiotic relationship between the two countries to ensure that Africa’s resources remains in Africa.
“Nigeria economy is the largest economy second to South Africa in the continent, the relationship between the two countries should be win-win, so as Nigeria opens up her borders economy to the South Africans, there must be reciprocity by South Africa,” Ekuwem added.
Most Nigerians agree that the country should get more from the South African businesses  which have freely made record profits that are sent back home to subsidize the expensive life style of their promoters.
They are also united that in call for appropriate rules and customs to handle trade between countries or between private companies across borders.

 

 


Kindly share this post

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

Continue Reading
Comments

News

Magu, Suspended EFCC Boss Says He Never Received Bribe all His Life

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Ibrahim Magu, suspended acting chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), on Wednesday said he has never received bribe all his life.

Magu, Suspended EFCC Boss Says He Never Received Bribe all His Life

brahim Magu, suspended chairman, EFCC

Magu was testifying before the Justice Ayo Salami panel probing allegations of corruption against him.

The suspended EFCC boss said anyone who claim he had ever given him bribe should come forward before the panel to testify against him.

He was responding to allegations that he allowed a suspect Hima Aboubakar, a Nigerien National to escape from justice.

The suspended EFCC boss had opened his defense on Monday to clear corruption allegations against him.

The probe panel has allowed him to have only two lawyers represent him at a time.

On Monday & Tuesday, he was represented by Wahab Shittu and Aliyu Lemu.

In yesterday’s proceedings, he was represented by Shittu and Tosin Ojaomo.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

News

HP, AU Commission Sign MoU to Collaborate for Development of Entrepreneurial Skills in Africa

Published

on

Kindly share this post

HP Inc. in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster entrepreneurial learning in Africa.

The aim of the MoU is to further cement the collaboration between these two parties in building entrepreneurial skills across the continent and to leverage HP Foundation’s Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (HP LIFE).

HP LIFE provides people in the region with access to 32 free, online courses in seven languages to build key business competencies as set out in the AGENDA 2063.

AGENDA 2063 is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future.

It is the continent’s strategic framework that aims to deliver on its goal for inclusive and sustainable development and is a concrete manifestation of the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress, and collective prosperity.

HP Inc. and the AUC have agreed to exchange information and material on enhancing quality education for learners and entrepreneurs in Africa, organize symposiums and conferences on education and skills development initiatives, leverage the online platform HP LIFE, which is aimed to enroll a million users between 2016 and 2025 and is part of HP’s commitment to enable better learning outcomes for 100 million people globally by 2025.

The aim of the MoU is to ensure closer collaboration and exchange of information between the parties, in a manner that creates synergies in Youth Skills Development, Academic Exchanges, and Research in Africa.

“HP is driving access to quality education globally to enable anyone and everyone to build skills to compete in the digital economy,” said Issam Essadiqi, Interim Managing Director, HP Africa. “Making education more accessible and effective helps people get better jobs, launch small businesses, and create opportunities for their families and communities.

“HP believes technology can be the great equalizer in education and is using it to enable students to get access to quality education in the classroom and beyond.”

The AU Commissioner for Human Resource, Science and Technology H.E Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor said, “The partnership with HP will accelerate our education response to Covid-19 and beyond to ensure accessible and continued learning for African youth.

The African Union’s education agenda, which has a focus on digital learning is well complemented by the opportunities that the work with HP will bring about for African youth.

In line with prioritizing distance learning, the partnership will support individuals and institutions of learning to provide the requisite expertise and opportunities.”

HP LIFE was first offered through hundreds of local training centers in countries such as Nigeria, Tunisia, South Africa, Uganda, and Kenya, to help people learn the skills to start or grow a business or improve their employment prospects.

In 2012, HP LIFE expanded to an online platform. Since 2016, over 116,000 men and women across Africa have already received HP LIFE training. 82% of women who took part in an HP LIFE survey said that participating in the programme had increased their confidence in their future

Today, technology can support new styles of learning. PCs and tools designed for education can offer students flexibility of time, place, and pace of learning, whether in or out of the classroom, or in a blend of environments.

HP and the AUC’s joint efforts have the potential to uplift access of education and opportunities for career work and economic growth, and this collaboration has the potential to make lifelong learning a reality.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

News

“TIME 100” Lists Tony Elumelu among 100 Most Influential People in the World 2020

Published

on

Kindly share this post

TIME has named Tony O. Elumelu, one of Africa’s leading investors and philanthropists, in the 2020 TIME100, the annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

“TIME 100” Lists Tony Elumelu among 100 Most Influential People in the World 2020

The list, now in its seventeenth year, recognises the activism, innovation, and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals.

Mr Elumelu, who is one of only four Africans on the 2020 list, is recognised for his track record of business turnaround and value creation, and economic empowerment of young Africans.

Tony Elumelu is the founder and chairman of Heirs Holdings, his family owned investment company, committed to improving lives and transforming Africa, through long-term investments in strategic sectors of the African economy, including financial services, hospitality, power, energy and healthcare.

He is the Chairman of top pan-African financial services group, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), which operates in 20 countries in Africa, the United Kingdom, France, and is the only African bank with a commercial deposit taking licence in the United States.

The bank provides corporate, commercial, SME and consumer banking services to more than 21 million customers globally.

Elumelu also chairs Nigeria’s largest quoted conglomerate, Transcorp, whose subsidiaries include Transcorp Power, one of the leading generators of electricity in Nigeria and Transcorp Hotels Plc, Nigeria’s foremost hospitality brand.

Mr Elumelu is the most prominent champion of entrepreneurship in Africa. In 2010, he created The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the philanthropy empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and ensuring job creation across all 54 African countries.

Since inception, the Foundation has funded just under 10,000 entrepreneurs and created a digital ecosystem of over one million as part of its ten year, US$100m commitment through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.

Self-funded, the Foundation is increasingly sharing its unique ability to identify, train, mentor and fund young entrepreneurs across Africa, with institutions such as the UNDP, the ICRC and leading European development agencies.

Tony Elumelu Named In “TIME 100” List Of 100 Most Influential People In The World 2020Heirs Holdings, which serves as a corporate role model for African businesses, and the Tony Elumelu Foundation will both celebrate 10 years of impact in November.

Their mission continues to be inspired by Mr Elumelu’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions the private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Social

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending