South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has reached out to President Muhammadu Buhari regarding the rising tension between the two countries days after the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) threatened to shut down MultiChoice, Shoprite, MTN businesses and replicate xenophobic attack on South African citizens in Nigeria.
The Presidency revealed that President Buhari has been invited to South Africa by Ramaphosa to discuss the living condition of Nigerians based in the country. According to the statement released on its Twitter handle – @NGRPresident, the meeting slated for October would also include trade issues.
The relationship between Nigeria and South Africa experienced a nosedive recently with a 7-day ultimatum issued to South African businesses to stop operation in Nigeria, following attacks on Nigerians and their businesses in South Africa.
The two countries, which have the largest economies in Africa, are both expected to play a vital role in the recently signed free trade agreement between more than 50 countries. Also, while Nigeria is dependent on importation, South Africa is Nigeria’s preferred option for the importation of goods, with the country accounting for 34.7% of Nigeria’s import from African countries in 2017.
This makes the relationship between Nigeria and South Africa crucial to both African leaders. And in order to strengthen their weakening relationship, President Buhari and President Ramaphosa will focus on fostering “strategic partnership and cooperation on matters of peace, security & socio-economic development in our continent,” the statement disclosed.
STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
PRESIDENT BUHARI, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA AGREE TO MEET ON CONSULAR, TRADE ISSUES #Thread
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) August 10, 2019
Other talking points of the telephone conversation between the two presidents include:
- discussions on issues relating to the well-being of citizens and ways to further strengthen trade relations between the two largest African economies;
- the need to promote trade and investment;
- opportunity to inaugurate a Bi-national commission for both countries to effect the strategic decisions taken in 2016 to elevate it to the level of Heads of State; and
- mutual interest and concern in global governance.
Is the meeting too late? While the meeting is slated for October, NANS is already taking action. The students’ body gave an ultimatum of seven days for the multinational businesses owned by South Africans to close business. The group carried out a part of their threat by shutting down Shoprite’s store in Ogun State four days after and has promised to carry on with the action in other areas.
Why the two governments scheduled the meeting two months from now remains unknown despite NANS already threatening to picket and shut down South African businesses.
NANS wants an urgent solution but President Buhari and President Ramaphosa prefer October. With the closure of Shoprite’s outlets in some Nigerian cities, there’s a possibility both African leaders will reconsider the timeframe of their meeting.
Consequences of NANS’ action: If the South African companies decide to exit Nigeria, Nigerians will be affected negatively. In a period when unemployment is on the rise, companies are to be encouraged to remain operational. Thousands of jobs will be lost, some of the sectors of the economy will be affected because Nigeria is not prepared for such an outcome.
Impact on SA businesses: While the closure of South African businesses in Nigeria will affect their revenue as expected, it will also take a large chunk of their returns as Nigeria is their major market, especially for companies like Pioneer Foods Group, Shoprite, Stanbic IBTC and MultiChoice, a Nairametrics research showed. Nevertheless, the exit will leave a lasting effect on both Nigerian and South African businesses.
Passengers can now arrive 90 minutes before departure for domestic flights – FG
The Federal Government has announced the reduction of arrival time for passengers from three hours to one hour and a half before departure for domestic flights.
This was disclosed in a tweet post by the Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, through his Twitter handle on Monday, July 13, 2020.
The minister said that the decision was arrived at after they have reviewed passenger facilitation at the airport while noting that passengers should check-in online.
In the tweet post, Sirika said, ‘’My colleagues and I have reviewed passenger facilitation at our airports, consequently I am happy to announce that, henceforth travellers are to arrive one hour and half before their departure time for domestic flights. Travellers are advised to check-in online, please.’’
My colleagues & I have reviewed passenger facilitation at our airports, consequently I am happy to announce that, henceforth travelers are to arrive one hour and a half before their departure time for domestic flights. Travelers are advised to check in online, please 🙏🏽🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬🙏🏽
— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) July 13, 2020
It can be recalled that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had earlier in June issued flight resumption protocol for both international and local passengers across the country, advising passengers to arrive at the airport three hours before their time due to the new COVID-19 safety checks for domestic flight operations and five hours for international flight operations.
Seyi Makinde Proposes N3 billion investment plan for water supply
The local governments in Oyo are advised to submit a list of 10 faulty boreholes in the LG.
The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde announced the proposal of a N3 billion investment plan dedicated to water supply in rural and urban areas of the state.
Speaking through the Chairman of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Mr. Najeem Omirinde in Ibadan on Monday, he added that N500 million of the N3 billion would be used for repairing broken and faulty state-owned boreholes.
All Chairmen of each of the Local Governments in Oyo are advised to submit a list of 10 faulty boreholes in the Local governments.
The Oyo State governor also ordered that all new boreholes must be compliant with solar-powered pumps, to enable their longevity and save costs.
Urging residents to patronize the agency if they need to dig up boreholes for water, citing that it would be cheaper if done through the state agency than with private drilling companies.
Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed stated last year that Nigeria needs an estimated N36 trillion annually for the next 30 years to solve Nigeria’s infrastructure problem. The investment, although a tiny fraction of what Nigeria needs is a bold step by the Oyo State government.
FG asks UK court for more time to appeal $9.6 billion arbitration judgement
Malami stated that the Evidence of P&ID’s highly orchestrated scam had only recently come to light.
The Federal Government has approached a UK court to appeal for more time to appeal the $9.6 billion arbitration award against it over the breach of contract with Process & Industrial Development (P&ID) Ltd.
Nigeria has said that it needs more time to pursue its argument that the 2010 gas supply contract with Process & Industrial Development Ltd was a sham.
The legal dispute with P&ID is coming against the backdrop of the huge drop in the country’s revenue due to the collapse in oil prices globally. Nigeria had applied to US courts in March seeking for documents from 10 banks which includes Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co, in a bid to prove its corruption allegations.
P&ID, however, has denied any wrongdoing in the whole transaction, arguing that Nigeria missed its opportunity to appeal.
The Nigerian Lawyer, Mark Howard, on Monday, the first morning of a 2-day hearing, said ‘’It is very unusual in a fraud case to discover a single smoking gun. By its very nature, fraud is conducted in secret, which makes it hard to detect and justifies an extension.’’
The legal representatives for Nigeria are seeking another hearing for the judge to decide whether any misconduct has taken place and whether it justifies overturning the contract
The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami in a statement said, ‘’Evidence of P&ID’s highly orchestrated scam had only recently come to light.’’
It can be recalled that last year, a UK judge upheld an earlier arbitration award to P&ID, which had accumulated to about $9.6 billion. The arbitration decision was over a failed contract to build a gas processing plant in the Southern city of Calabar.
The Nigerian lawyers disclosed that they have uncovered alleged bribes to government officials and their family members dating back to 2009.
Malami in his court filing on March 24, submitted that ‘’There is good reason to believe that ministers at the highest level were involved in a corrupt scheme to steal money from Nigeria.’’