There should be as much opening up for Nigerian businesses in South Africa as there is in Nigeria for South African businesses like MTN, Nigerian vice-presidential candidate Yemi Osinbajo has said. Osinbajo was speaking via video link at an All Progressives Congress (APC) fundraising dinner in Centurion this week, ahead of the Nigerian elections next Saturday. The professor of law and senior advocate is the running mate of the APC’s presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari.
“There must be a mutual relationship when it comes to business and tourism,” he said when asked how an APC administration would approach relations with South Africa – which, after Nigeria, is the second biggest economy on the continent. “Sometimes strains are caused by paying attention to detail that really ought to be worked through by government officials and diplomats. A lot of these disagreements are not of the fundamental kind. “It is just a matter of managing our relations well. It is important economically, and we will benefit socially as well,” he said.
Osinbajo added that Nigeria assisted in the fight against apartheid, which meant the relationship between the two countries has always been significant. Asked how he would go about fighting corruption, Osinbajo said there should be prosecution and consequences for people who are found to be corrupt. Nigerian expatriate speakers at the fundraising event said they wanted a Nigeria they could be proud of and that they could return to.
Nigerians are expected to go to the poll on March 28, after the February elections were controversially postponed by six weeks. It is expected to be a tight battle between incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan and Buhari, in what has been billed the most important elections in Nigeria to date.