Tuesday, March 8, 2016 8:11 pm
The South African President, Jacob Zuma said today that his country is carrying out investigations to ensure that anything that was illegally taken by Nigerians to South Africa is returned to Nigeria.
He made this known on Tuesday while addressing journalists after the bilateral talks with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, the Nigerian and South African governments have joined efforts on the matter and that the relevant structures were already recovering some of the loot.
He said that his government will ensure that the monies confiscated by South African government during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan are returned to Nigeria.
Zuma described the xenophobic attacks in his country as unfortunate, promising to address it once and for all.
In an address at the National Assembly later, Zuma called for unity between Nigeria and South Africa to drive economic growth in Africa.
He said that both countries must assume their roles as big brothers in Africa to advance growth of the continent.
He said that collaborations in the areas of economic diversification, electricity generation and supply, agriculture and agro-processing, tourism development, mining, banking, infrastructure development, aviation, manufacturing and the automotive sectors should be encouraged.
“We must strive for the diversification of our economies so as to cast the net wide enough to create more job opportunities for our people, to improve their living conditions and grow our economies.
“In doing this, we would break away from the colonial legacy that turned Africa into providers of primary commodities and recipients of processed goods.
“This is important because the current state of affairs makes Africa vulnerable to the volatilities of the international economy that sustains the uneven terms of trade.
“This diversification will go further to improve the impact that Africa can have in the global economy and to reconfigure the terms of trade.
“The current global economic climate, as the previous global economic crisis, has exposed the vulnerability of our economies and currencies and thus calls for concerted efforts toward South-South and intra-Africa cooperation.
“Economic cooperation between our two countries can therefore serve as bedrock of the continent’s economic cooperation and intra-Africa trade. This is the kind of leadership Africa expects South Africa and Nigeria to provide,” he said.
On Nigeria’s epileptic power supply, Zuma offered to assist the country with the experience of South Africa in tackling the challenges.
He said that Nigeria and South Africa should lead other African countries in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to him, both countries must be at the fore front of the struggle because we are the biggest economies on the continent.
“We should strive not to be left behind in the fourth technological revolution.
“We need to take into consideration the need to be sensitive to new environmental dynamics such as those of global warming and alternative energy sources,” he said.
In his remarks, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara said that Zuma’s visit would reinforce the brotherhood and collaboration between the two countries.
While acknowledging the role Nigeria played as a front-liner in the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, Dogara stressed that the need for high level commitment in bilateral relations between both countries.