Arab Today, arab today african giants battle for economic supremacy
Last Updated : GMT 11:15:04
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

African giants battle for economic supremacy

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today African giants battle for economic supremacy

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma reviews a guard of honour at the presidential villa
Johannesburg - AFP

When South Africa's President Jacob Zuma visited Nigeria last week he was on a delicate mission to mend rifts between the continent's two economic powerhouses.

From economic rivalry to political friction, relations between South Africa and Nigeria have been strained in recent years.

The election of Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari into office last May did not immediately ease the tension.

When Zuma visited Abuja last week, Buhari set aside diplomacy and accused one of South Africa's largest companies of failing the country in its fight against the Boko Haram insurgency.

Telecoms giant MTN was fined $3.9 billion for missing a deadline to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards, a legal requirement aimed at hampering the militant Islamists.

Buhari said MTN was "very slow" in cutting off the lines and that the unregistered lines were used by "terrorists" and "contributed to the casualties".

The Nigerian government's concern "was basically on the security, not the fine imposed on the MTN," he said.

But MTN is not the only South African company riding rough waves in Nigeria.

Hotel and resort chain group Sun International is also a target of investigation by the country's economic financial crimes commission.

"We have an exemplary track record of operating in many countries over the past 30 years, but the difficulties we have experienced in Nigeria are unprecedented," Michael Farr, Sun International group's general manager for communications, told AFP.
"We'll continue to evaluate the situation and therefore our options."

Africa's largest satellite broadcaster, Johannesburg-headquartered Multichoice, last year came under pressure to reduce its tariffs following accusations by the Nigerian authorities that it was abusing its dominant position.

Some South African companies, such as the Truworths clothing retailer, have pulled out of the country altogether.

"We closed our four stores in Nigeria because we were unable to send stock to stores due to the regulations in Nigeria," Michael Mark, Truworths CEO told AFP.

- 'Targeted because of envy' -

Following the rebasing of its gross domestic product figures in April 2014, Nigeria became the continent's largest economy, overtaking South Africa.

While 120 South African companies operate in Nigeria, the west African nation is only Pretoria's seventh-biggest trading partner on the continent.

"Some South African business people and officials suspect that South African companies are being targeted because of envy from local competitors," said Peter Fabricius, an analyst with the Institute of Security Studies in Pretoria.

But "many Nigerians believe (MTN) was grossly negligent about obeying the rules and arrogant," said Fabricius.

Muda Yussuf, the director general of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that it "does not mean these companies are being targeted".

"It is just that companies operating anywhere have to comply with the laws governing business behaviours in their host countries. It does not matter if the companies are from South Africa or somewhere else.

"Laws are made to be obeyed. What happened to MTN can happen to any Nigerian company."

After signing more than 30 bilateral agreements on trade, energy, defence and security among others, Pretoria put a positive spin on the visit.

"The visit of Zuma... is a testimony that there is no undercurrent of 'cold war' between Nigeria and South Africa," said Sola Oni, investment analyst and former senior manager with the Nigeria Stock Exchange.

"Nigeria is such a strategic country that cannot be easily ignored by any country globally," said Oni.

But both countries are facing economic headwinds.

South Africa's growth is undermined by the slowdown in China and falling commodity prices, while Nigeria, the continent's top oil producer, is suffering from low oil prices.

 

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today african giants battle for economic supremacy Arab Today, arab today african giants battle for economic supremacy

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries
Arab Today, arab today Saudis await visitors but will they come?

GMT 11:54 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Saudis await visitors but will they come?
Arab Today, arab today Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"
Arab Today, arab today Mental conflict endures

GMT 07:36 2017 Friday ,24 February

Mental conflict endures
Arab Today, arab today Media host Mona Iraqi stresses her show's success

GMT 15:32 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Media host Mona Iraqi stresses her show's success
View News in Arabic - Business: اقتصاد دولي
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today To hold social dialogue over secondary school

GMT 07:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

To hold social dialogue over secondary school
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return
Arab Today, arab today Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 05:19 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Salma Rashid happy for 'A Whisper of Love'

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories

GMT 15:53 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 23:29 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Home built on sand castles-style costs $8m

GMT 07:51 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Mom's immune system accepts babies

GMT 17:46 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Tourist guide reveals methods of tourist attractions

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 12:22 2017 Monday ,20 February

Kanye West puts hijab-wearing model
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday