Minister Naledi Pandor on Wednesday hosted her Nigerian counterpart, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs who attended the Ministerial Mid-term Review (MTR) of the 10th RSA-Nigeria Bi-National Commission (BNC), held in Pretoria.
At the meeting, Pandor described Nigeria as a key long-term market for South Africa’s investment plans.
The South Africa-Nigeria BNC, launched in 1999, is the formal mechanism through which the two countries conduct their bilateral relations.
Pandor said Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020 and the National Development Plan 2021-2025 present massive investment opportunities for both nations.
South Africa’s investment in Nigeria, according to the Minister, is made up of about 120 companies with a total investment of R4.398 billion capital expenditure.
“However, South African companies have recently apparently found it difficult to operate in Nigeria. Some of the reported challenges include regulatory issues and non-tariff barriers,” he pointed out.
According to Pandor, this has resulted in South African companies operating in Nigeria significantly dropping from 350 to 120 with the recent departures of the likes of Game, Shoprite and Sasol.
“Given these statistics it was correct that our Heads of State and Government decided during the 10th BNC that a mid-term review of the implementation of the decisions of the BNC at the level of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs be convened, hopefully, to address challenges and encourage greater action on agreed goals,” the minister elaborated.
Pandor is adamant that the platform will assist in assessing progress of the decisions taken at the 10th BNC – identify weaknesses in implementation, and take measures to strengthen implementation.
The Minister hailed Onyeama for his commitment to deepen the bilateral cooperation by honouring the invitation to come to South Africa.