Connect with us


The Diplomatic Cold War South Africa is Fighting With Nigeria – Rooted in Xenophobia?

This generalisation of Nigerians of all classes and background as enemies of the republic appears to be the latest South African antic in their arsenal of xenophobia.



South Africa's economy - Investors King

By Temitope Olomola, a Senior Lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria

What would be tantamount to a desecration of the memory of Madiba (former President Nelson Mandela)? Intolerance would perhaps rank very highly on such a list. Tolerance by which the late sage ensured that South Africa did not break into a civil war post independence now seems to be under threat from within.

It is rather weird that the openly expressed hostility by South Africans to Nigerians, Zimbabweans and other Africans does not extend to non-Africans. The Africa Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) is doing a lot to generate empirical data that could be useful in the analyses and reaching lasting conclusions on different sides of the xenophobia conversation.

Going through history, one may be correct to say that tensions between South Africa and Nigeria began to deteriorate significantly, probably around 2017 leading up to 2019 when some Nigerians were forced to leave South Africa amidst another wave of xenophobic attacks. A lot has been documented on the state and perceived causes of xenophobia.

You may be forgiven to think that the state visits of President Mohammadu Buhari and that of President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2019 and 2021, respectively, would have somewhat healed the budding tensions.

At the moment it is clear that the lockdown and COVID-19 related agitations that began in 2020 have added salt to the proverbial injury of diplomatic relations between South Africa and Nigeria. A cold war is perhaps the only way to describe the socio political stance that South Africa has suddenly turned to Nigeria and its citizens. It would appear that the several years of bilateral relations and African partnership means little or nothing to the South African diplomatic corps.

Whilst the Nigerian government is largely ignorant or pretending to be unaware of the terrible treatment meted out to her citizens intending to travel to the Rainbow nation, the South African High Commission keeps growing in boldness even within the Nigerian borders. The South African wing of VFS Global has closed down two of its offices in Lagos and Port Harcourt, forcing thousands of applicants to go to the Abuja office since February 1, 2022.

The Commission was initially evasive about the reason for the closure which they explained would be a temporary closure. The information was uploaded to their official website but later removed. Now only the Abuja office collects visa applications from all over Nigeria with complaints of oversubscription as though oblivious that applicants from the other parts of the country were being forced to come to Abuja.

When put into proper perspective, it is interesting that the US, UK, Canada, French and other EU countries amongst other countries process applications from Lagos and Abuja, then you realise this was a deliberate act by the South African authorities to shut out Nigerians. It is, without doubt, a deliberate state objection to exclude Nigerians from their territory.

Some inquiries from the South Africa Tourism team (especially from the recently concluded Tourism Indaba at Durban) confirm that there is an e-visa system in place in Nigeria, but this is turning out to be a ruse.

More frustrating from the Nigerian perspective, is that the High Commission has resorted to simply collecting application fees and refusing to process same till the visa requested date has passed. Close watchers will see that over the last five months, the success rate in the inssuance of visas to Nigerians has dwindled significantly.

Investigations also reveal that while applicants for South African visa in Nigeria are being unduly treated, applicants from other African countries, including Ghana, a neighboring West African country receive South African visas within one to three working days. Deliberate delay in the approval and issuance of visas is the new tactic the South African High Commission employs to frustrate Nigerians.

The reality is that these issues are not new and the inactivity of the Nigerian government has allowed Nigerians to
receive unacceptable insults even in our own country. In November 2018, International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) published a piece titled “How South Africa denies Nigerians entry through late issuance of visa” and almost four years after, the situation has gone from bad to worse.

Arguably, South Africa has become the xenophobia capital of the world.

This generalisation of Nigerians of all classes and background as enemies of the republic appears to be the latest South African antic in their arsenal of xenophobia. This is not just unfair in the spirit of Ubuntu but largely unclear in the historical dealings of both countries. For whatever reason, the South African diplomatic team has taken a position that is inimical to the cooperation between both countries.

Could this be seen as an aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic as alluded to in a recent article ?

In my opinion, no excuse is good enough for such antagonism without provocation. There is a Yoruba adage that simply translates thus: it is what a person wants to do that his drunken state brings to the fore. If some Nigerians have misbehaved or acted wrongly in South Africa, is there anything stopping the full implementation of the law against them? The attempt to label all Nigerians enemies of South Africa is not just beneath any honest human society, it is a declaration of war.

It is quite shameful that this treatment is metted out to the nationals of a country whose support has always tilted world position in favour of South Africa’s when the latter was isolated due to apartheid and more recently, during the outbreak of the Covid 19 – Omicron Variant.

Conclusively, until the SA High Commission starts acting like a responsible diplomatic corps and in alignment with other forward thinking nations, an urgent intervention by Nigerian government should be done in the short term. An enquiry needs to be launched into the dealings of the South African High Commissions in Nigeria over this period. Further to this, all fees paid in all cases of deliberate visa delays should be refunded by the SA High Commission.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

Continue Reading


Zambia’s Finance Minister Faces Dual Challenge in Upcoming Budget Address



Zambian economy

As Zambia’s Finance Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, prepares to present the nation’s budget, he finds himself at a pivotal crossroads.

The second-largest copper producer in Africa is grappling with two pressing concerns: debt sustainability and soaring living costs.

Debt Restructuring Dilemma: Musokotwane’s foremost challenge is finalizing the $6.3 billion debt-restructuring deal with official creditors, led by China and France.

Delays have hindered disbursements from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and left private creditors in limbo.

To reassure investors, a memorandum of understanding with the official creditor committee is urgently needed.

President Hakainde Hichilema emphasizes the importance of sealing these transactions to signal closure on this tumultuous chapter.

Plummeting Tax Revenue: The key copper-mining industry, which accounts for 70% of Zambia’s export earnings, is in turmoil.

First-half mining company taxes and mineral royalty collections have nosedived, adding to economic woes.

This, in turn, has depreciated the local currency, exacerbating imported inflation, particularly in fuel prices.

Rising Food Inflation: Musokotwane faces mounting political pressure to combat soaring living costs, with annual inflation reaching an 18-month high of 12%. Corn meal prices, a staple in Zambia, have surged by a staggering 67% in the past year.

Neighboring countries’ demand for corn has led to smuggling and further price spikes, raising concerns about food security.

Currency Woes: The kwacha’s value has been a barometer for the nation’s economic health. It depreciated by 16% since June 22, the worst performance among African currencies, reflecting the ongoing debt-restructuring uncertainty.

In his budget address, Musokotwane faces the daunting task of striking a balance between debt management, economic stability, and alleviating the burden on Zambia’s citizens.

The international community will keenly watch to see if his fiscal measures can steer the nation toward a path of recovery and prosperity.

Continue Reading


IMF Urges Sub-Saharan African Nations to Eliminate Tax Exemptions for Fiscal Health



IMF global - Investors King

Sub-Saharan African countries have been advised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to tackle their fiscal deficits by focusing on eliminating tax exemptions and bolstering domestic revenue rather than resorting to fiscal expenditure cuts, which could hamper economic growth.

The IMF conveyed this recommendation in a paper titled ‘How to avoid a debt crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa.’

The IMF’s paper emphasizes that Sub-Saharan African nations should reconsider their overreliance on expenditure cuts as a primary means of reducing fiscal deficits. Instead, they should place greater emphasis on revenue-generating measures such as eliminating tax exemptions and modernizing tax filing and payment systems.

According to the IMF, mobilizing domestic revenue is a more growth-friendly approach, particularly in countries with low initial tax levels.

The paper highlights success stories in The Gambia, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda, where substantial revenue increases were achieved through a combination of revenue administration and tax policy reforms.

The IMF also pointed out that enhancing the participation of women in the labor force could significantly boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in developing countries.

The IMF estimates that raising the rate of female labor force participation by 5.9 percentage points, which aligns with the average reduction in the participation gap observed in the top 5% of countries during 2014-19, could potentially increase GDP by approximately 8% in emerging and developing economies.

In a world grappling with the weakest medium-term growth outlook in over three decades, bridging the gender gap in labor force participation emerges as a vital reform that policymakers can implement to stimulate economic revival.

Continue Reading


Pipeline Vandalism Costs NNPC N34.47 Billion in 18 Months



pipleline vandalisation

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has revealed that it spent nearly N34.47 billion in the past 18 months to combat the persistent issue of pipeline vandalism in the country.

The latest Oil and Gas Report from the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative covering 2021 disclosed that N22.05 billion was allocated to pipeline repairs and maintenance alone.

During the first half of 2021, NNPCL reported a distressing 350 pipeline points vandalized, highlighting the urgent need for countermeasures. In response, NNPCL has been actively collaborating with local communities and stakeholders to mitigate pipeline vandalism.

NNPCL’s CEO, Mele Kyari, attributed recent improvements to the introduction of Operation White and the Automated Downstream Operations and Financial Monitoring Centre.

These innovations have enabled NNPCL to enhance its monitoring capabilities and reduce illicit activities such as oil theft and cross-border smuggling of petroleum products, which previously led to supply disruptions and significant revenue losses.

Also, in January 2021, NNPCL received interest from 96 companies to participate in the rehabilitation of downstream facilities via the Build, Operate, and Transfer financing model.

However, despite the substantial investments, NNPCL continues to grapple with significant losses. The company disclosed that it loses 470,000 barrels per day of crude oil, amounting to $700 million monthly, due to oil theft.

In a related development, 10 individuals accused of vandalizing NNPCL’s pipeline on the high seas faced charges of conspiracy and willful tampering. They were ordered to be remanded in the Nigerian Correctional Service by Justice Akintoye Aluko of the Federal High Court in Lagos.

As pipeline vandalism remains a significant challenge, the Nigerian government and NNPC are determined to safeguard their critical infrastructure while exploring new ways to combat this menace.

Continue Reading