Business Hilights

Tracking Nigeria's Headline Business News Online

xenophobic attacks in South Africa

About 120 S/African firms doing business in Nigeria, but no Nigerian firm in SA

Ad 2
Ad 3

Fresh facts have emerged on why the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed only stopped at telling the Ambassador of South Africa, Mr. Lulu Mnguni, who paid him a courtesy visit that “there are over 120 South African companies doing business in Nigeria,” but failed give the data of how many Nigerian firms that do business in South Africa.

Even in his remarks, the Ambassador could not give similar data of Nigerian firms doing business in South Africa because it does not exist.

According to a Nigerian who had lived in South Africa for over 25 years before returning to establish his company in Lagos, “The way Company and Allied Act is structured in South Africa, no Nigerian company can do business there and survive”.

The Nigerian returnee who pleaded anonymity added that “If you want to do business in South Africa, you can only survive to some extent if the company is idealized and started there. Their business laws and regulations hate issue like bringing in a company that has existed somewhere to compete there which is exactly what their companies do in Nigeria”.

“That is why no subsidiary of a Nigerian company can succeed in South Africa. I tried it and failed. That is why I decided to come home and start something.

It would be recalled that during the height of the at the xenophobic attacks in South Africa when the Minister of Interior visited and met with Nigerians living there, one of them who spoke the minds of Nigerians living there said “their business laws and regulations cannot allow a foreigner to own a house even if he married from South Africa. They told us that if we want to own house, we should go back to Nigeria and own house there”.

Further investigations by our correspondent showed that efforts made by a leading national daily, ThisDay Newspapers to set up a subsidiary in South Africa about a couple of years ago were frustrated with anti-foreign firms regulations.

Also, lately, a report revealed how South African authorities’ frustrated back containers of Nigerian locally made Bitters exported to South Africa without any clear reasons. The report said the main target of the export is to use the shipment to drive market and later set up manufacturing outfit.

A statement signed by the Special Adviser to the Minister, Segun Adeyemi, Mohammed said Nigerians and South Africans must be able to live in harmony.

The Minister was quoted as saying that “For long, Nigerians have treated South Africans as their brothers and sisters. Over 120 South African companies, perhaps more than those of any other African country, are doing business in Nigeria; thousands of Nigerians regularly travel to South Africa for business and leisure, and – historically – Nigeria played a frontline role in helping to end the scourge of apartheid in South Africa.”

According to Mohammed, “relevant agencies, including the National Council for Arts and Culture; the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation; and the Nigerian Film Corporation, would soon embark on a series of activities in South Africa to strengthen the understanding between Nigerians and South Africans”.

“Activities would include joint musical concerts between Nigeria and South African artistes; co-production in the area of films; visit of popular Nollywood actors and actresses to South Africa as part of a Nigerian delegation going on a confidence-building trip; exhibitions featuring Nigerian delicacies to be entitled ‘’A Taste of Nigeria’’ and a town hall meeting for Nigerians resident in South Africa, with a view to encouraging dialogue on the way forward, especially in their relationship with their hosts.

Responding, the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, hailed Nigeria for its invaluable contribution to the liberation of South Africa from apartheid, but was silent on the statistics of Nigerian companies doing business in his country.


Business Hilights is an online news channel conceptualized and structured to report and track on a daily basis; latest developments in critical business sectors to serve as a one stop news gateway for governments, foreign and indigenous investors.