Nigerian President urges greater SA-Nigerian cooperation

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has called for greater cooperation between South Africa and Nigeria.

The President was addressing the South African Parliament in Cape Town during a visit to the country this week.

He said: “In the context of this new interest in Africa, it is important that African leadership across the continent recognises the extra burden of responsibility expected of it to manage the situation in a manner that would be beneficial to our people. There is certainly a lot more that we can do."

"We must work together to put an end to the exploitation and exploration of Africa’s resources for export without any value added; in this regard, African countries must transform from being primary sources of raw material into producers to create jobs and opportunities for our people. We must check the loss of Africa’s trained manpower to already developed countries, these are the very people we need to scale up our economies as well as improve our public and social services."

"We must work together, to promote trade and investment among our countries and build trans-national infrastructure in such critical sectors as trade, telecommunications, and transportation in order to fast-track the process of people-centred, continental integration.”

President Jonathan also urged stepped up measures to counter crime and terrorism.

He noted: “Happily, we already have a mechanism established to drive our bilateral relations in all its ramifications. It is heartening to know that our Bi-National Commission which functions at a very high level is successful. In this connection, as we continue the implementation of my country’s transformation agenda, I am happy to report that the outlook on Nigeria’s economy remains positive with strong fundamentals. Even in this challenging global environment, Nigeria’s growth rate which averaged nearly 7% over the past 5 years is expected to reach 7.2% in 2013, according to IMF forecasts. This makes Nigeria one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

South Africa, as a major investor in the Nigerian economy, is a major beneficiary of this development. South African companies like MTN, Standard Bank, Multichoice, Multilinks, the Protea hotel chain, Shoprite, among others are actively engaged and are actually thriving in virtually every sector of the Nigerian economy from telecommunications to power, education, aviation, construction, hospitality, entertainment and retail trade.”

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