Nigeria, South Africa relations to get new boost, says Osinbajo

The frosty relationship between Nigeria and South Africa over failed arms deal during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan would soon give way for a friendly diplomatic relations.

The assurance was expressed weekend by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo who was on official trip to South Africa.


Speaking to Journalists while in South Africa, Osinbajo after a meeting with both President Jacob Zuma and his Deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, where issues of common interests to both countries were discussed, said there was a renewed diplomatic relations between Nigeria and South Africa.

He also commissioned a new Consular section building of the Nigerian High Commission office in Pretoria on Saturday. Osinbajo also revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari would soon host President Zuma in Abuja.

“The meetings went very well. Some of the critical areas both countries are expecting to deal with in the coming years were discussed. You know, President Zuma will be visiting Nigeria very soon.

“These meetings, in some senses, are preparatory and we are looking forward to seeing him(President Zuma), and we thought it might be useful to mention one or two things that will be important in the meeting that he will be having with President Buhari very shortly.”

Osinbajo who held several other engagements including private events also met the South African leaders in Midrand made possible by a policy conference of the ruling African National Congress, ANC.

He assured  that the ties between Nigeria and South Africa would be further strengthened under the Buhari administration, observing that “there is chemistry between President Buhari and President Zuma.”

The Vice President also attended the annual Pan-Africa Prophetic Gathering hosted by the House of Revival Church in Brakpan.

He was equally hosted to a Business dinner by the members of the South African Chamber of Commerce and also held an interactive session with Nigerians based in the country.

At the dinner, he urged Nigerians and South Africans to put aside any difference and pursue prosperity across the two countries, with the mind to break any barriers, while stating that the governments of both countries would on their part create enabling environments to do business.

“We need to create an enabling environment where people who want to do business don’t have to compromise themselves, there are those who would rather not do business if they have to compromise,” Osinbajo said.

He also charged African leaders to entrench an economic policy that would accommodate the rich and poor in their countries, saying that in Nigeria, “we now have to plan our budgets as a nation with the realization of the huge number of the extremely poor in our population.”

According to him, an important part of the solution to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor was by investing in education

The Vice President further explained the social investment plans of the Buhari administration to include the Conditional Cash Transfer and School Feeding programmes to the gathering.

He stated that “once this model succeeds, it may become a model to sell to other countries in Africa.”

He also reiterated that proper education would also help to define the true narratives of how Nigeria and South Africa have bonded in the past, recalling how Nigerian and the South African peoples collaborated successfully during the movement against apartheid rule, saying that proper education on how both Nigeria and South Africa collaborated in the past was the way to end some of the divisive occurrences recorded recently including attacks against in South Africa.

The Vice president has since returned to the country.

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