Vice President Namadi Sambo has called for the removal of regulatory impediment that tends to hamper Nigerian businessmen and investors from participating in South African economic activities.
Sambo said at the Bi-National Commission on Wednesday in Cape Town that there was a need to promote the welfare and economic well-being of the people of the two countries.
``Let us seize this opportunity to call for removal of regulatory impediment that tends to hamper Nigerian business and investors from participating fully in South African economic activities.
``This will ensure mutually beneficial economic relations and equity. We must promote the welfare and economic well-being of our people by sharing our prosperity and opportunities for wealth and job creation in our countries,’’ Sambo said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Sambo and South African Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe, signed two agreements on economic and technical cooperation and mutual assistant on customs services between the two countries.
Sambo said Nigeria remained the gateway for South Africa to the West African sub-region in term of market access, foreign direct investment and bilateral trade.
``I am aware that issues have been raised about the deficit of infrastructure in Nigeria. In our view, this is, in itself, the strong reason to invest in infrastructure development in areas such as road, railways, power and agriculture.
``This is in view of their multiplier effect on other sectors of the economy and general investment climate.
``With a deregulated and liberalised business environment and consumer population of over 167 million people, Nigeria remains the potential springboard into the West African market,’’ Sambo said.
He said the bilateral relations of the two countries had grown remarkably since the evolution of strategic partnership through the Bi-National Commission 10 years ago.
``As we move forward in our joint efforts toward enhancing bilateral relations, there is still room for improvement. We can explore new and deepen existing areas of cooperation, including collaboration in the fight against emerging security challenges,’’ Sambo said.
Motlanthe, in his speech, said current relations between the two countries were not a true reflection of the historical relationship.
``As such this failure to live up to the true potential of our relationship has been robbing our countries of maximum benefit they could have reaped from our optimal relations.
``I believe, Your Excellency, that only through frank and honest discussions we are assured of the possibility to improve our relations to their full potentials for the benefit of our people.
He said the relations between South Africa and Nigeria was not what it should be currently.
``At the moment our relations can be best described as normal, when as indicated above, they can reach excellent levels as they ought to be.
``In this regard, it is worth nothing that strong relations between South Africa and Federal Republic of Nigeria are not only in the interest of our countries but that of our continent as well,’’ Motlanthe said.
He said the Bi-National Commission should further strengthen the cordial and fraternal relations between the two countries.