NIGERIA is enjoying a mini boost in its trade with the rest of the African continent after recent statistics showed that the country exported primary commodities worth about $2.48bn to South Africa over the last 24 months.
Primarily a mono-economy with crude oil exports accounting for over 90% of federal government revenue, Nigeria earns a lot of foreign exchange by selling petroleum to other African nations. Malik Abdul, South Africa’s consular-general to Nigeria, recently revealed that South Africa is also among the top 10 investors in Nigeria globally, adding that Nigeria accounts for 64% of its trade with West Africa.
He noted that Nigeria is one of the South Africa’s top three sources of crude oil, pointing out that in 2020, Nigeria was South Africa’s top import market in Africa, and sixth globally after China, Germany, USA, India and Saudi Arabia. According to the consular-general, the mission will provide the relevant guidelines to businessmen and investors from both countries, stressing that it will also engage in trade exhibitions and investment forums in due course.
Mr Abdul said: “Over the years, South Africa imported R35billion ($2.48bn) worth of goods, predominantly, crude oil from Nigeria. The economic relationship can be described as win-win situation and for both economies, the balance of relationships is actually in favour of South Africa.
“It is therefore imperative that that steps are taken to consolidate these ties and to nip in the bud any irritants to this partnership. It is our hope that the coming into force, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) providing tariff-free access to market of over 1.3bn people will further provide impetus to depend the economic relations between the two countries.
“Since my assumption of office in November 2020, I have undertaken familiarisation visits to Limpopo and the Western Cape, where I met the provincial leaders, including the premier, mayor and commissioner of police. I also met with the premier of Gauteng through the Web.”
He expressed that these meetings extended the hands of fellowship and cooperation in enhancing the bilateral relationship between the two countries and issues pertaining to the welfare of the Nigerian economy. Mr Abdul added that the KwaZulu-Natal provincial police commissioner is setting up of a joint consultative committee, comprising of the mission, the police and the Nigerian community to gather timely information in order to prevent any further xenophobic attacks against Nigerians.