The South African President, Jacob Zuma, yesterday, while addressing a joint session of the National Assembly in Abuja, disclosed that the country has over one hundred and twenty companies in Nigeria.
This is even as the country’s President urged the Nigerian government to give the South African businessmen more opportunities to invest in the critical sectors of the economy, such as power, tourism, infrastructure, agriculture, and agro-based processing, among others.
Zuma said doing this will disentangle the African countries from the volatility of the world market and other neo-colonialism, just as he acknowledged the role plaid by Nigeria in the fight against Apartheid in South Africa.
Speaking further, the South African President sought for strategic partnership among African countries, as a measure for survival in the face of the global economic crisis, especially facing developing countries.
While admonishing Nigerian government, as the biggest economy, to take the lead in industrial revolution, he said the experiences the country had in mining and solid mineral sectors will be of great essence to Nigeria, if South Africa is given opportunity.
He commended the peaceful conduct of the 2015 general election in Nigeria which has standout the country in the face of the world, saying that the country had set a standard for emerging democracies on credible election.
He recalled that there are over thirty four abandoned agreements of the African National Congress (ANC) since inception, saying the agreements should be re-activated for stronger alliance among the countries of African continents.
Speaking earlier, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said the visit is historic, being the first time the President of another country is addressing a joint session of the National Assembly.
He said time has come when African countries should forge a new part towards greater African integration, trade and marriage, just as he said Nigerians in South Africa are facing some challenges in the course of doing their business.
While reiterating the need to activate the MOUs between South Africa and Nigeria, he said the National Assembly will focus on policies that will enable inter African integration.
In his closing remarks, the Speaker of the House of Representative, Yakubu Dogara, said there should be reciprocity in the business corporation of Nigeria and South Africa.
He said while South Africans in Nigeria are having easy ride in the course of executing their business interests due to limited bottlenecks, Nigerians in South Africa are having serious challenges in the course of doing their business.
He drew the attention of the South African President to the support made by Nigeria during the fight against apartheid, saying South Africa must assist Nigeria in its time of economic challenges.