Adams Oshiomole, the National Chairman of Nigeria’s ruling party All Progressive Congress (APC) has called for the Nationalisation of South African Companies in Nigeria. He made this remark at a party event in the wake of the Xenophobic attack on Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa.
In the remark, the targeted South African companies, MTN, Multichoice, Stanbic IBTC asking Nigerians to boycott them. He also claimed Nigerian ownership in these companies are small compared to South African ownership and as such the government should threaten to nationalize the foreign ownership.
What this means: Calling for a Nationalisation of South African companies or indeed any foreign company is currently not legally possible in the country and will require legislation. The last time nationalization happened was in the late seventies when former military leader Olusegun Obasanjo implemented the indigenization policy. Foreign investors are allowed to own 100% interest in any business in Nigeria.
Bad Optics: While this could be viewed as an irresponsible partisan view from a party stalwart, the optics continue to be bad for attracting foreign investments into the country. Foreign investors are increasingly wary about investing in Nigeria under the Buhari dispensation due to its hawkish policies against foreign imports and remarks against foreign businesses such as Oshiomole’s latest statement. Adams Oshiomole is also close to the President and remarks like this could be viewed as representing the opinion of the government.
Latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics reveals Nigeria received $5.82 billion capital inflows in the second quarter (Q2) of 2019, compared to $8.48 billion in the first quarter (Q1). This represents a whopping 31.4% quarter on quarter drop in inflows. Foreign Direct Investment, the most sought after of foreign investment was a paltry $222.89 million