Nigeria seeks to deepen economic ties with SA ahead of UN General Assembly

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu. (Photo: Kola Sulaimon / AFP / Getty Images)

Nigeria's President Bola Tinubu held talks with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in New York, seeking to advance economic cooperation between the two largest economies in Africa, his spokesperson said on Monday.

The two African leaders met ahead of the United Nations General Assembly that is scheduled to start this week, they said in a joint statement.

“We can collaborate in a mutually beneficial way that enriches our populations,” Tinubu said, adding that both countries can cooperate in the mining and telecommunications industries to help “deliver jobs”.

Tinubu has embarked on Nigeria’s boldest reforms in decades, scrapping a popular but expensive petrol subsidy and lifting foreign exchange trading curbs. He has pledged to revive an economy struggling with record debt, anaemic growth and double-digit inflation.

President Ramaphosa hailed Tinubu’s “brave” economic reforms and pledged that South Africa will explore greater partnership with Nigeria.

“We are two major economies on our continent, and it is important that we deepen economic ties, particularly in light of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement,” Ramaphosa said.

“We would love to see Nigeria and South Africa working closely together on a number of issues because whenever we join hands, we have made an impact globally through those joint positions,” he said.

Tinubu also urged South Africa to join Nigeria in a call for reforms of global finance institutions to help Africa combat rising poverty and economic woes.

“We must join hands and agree that International Finance Institutions require reform as Africa is not to be a ground for economic scavenging any longer, but it is a place with gifted people that is ready for investment and cooperation,” Tinubu said.

Tinubu, attending his first UN General Assembly as Nigeria’s president, is also scheduled to meet US President Joe Biden and executives from Microsoft, Meta and Exxon Mobil in New York in a drive to mobilise global capital to develop infrastructure.

(Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Elisha Bala-Gbogbo; Editing by Sonali Paul.)


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Libby De Villiers says:

    Wondering if candle and torch manufacturing ever came up?

  • Dee Bee says:

    Nigeria will be the first US$1 trillion economy in Africa, with a population approaching 300 million people when it happens. It won’t be the wealthiest per capita country, it won’t be the most industrialised, but it will have a rapidly growing consumer base with money to spend – as South Africa, are we going to take this seriously, from government to corporate, or will we just see the usual moan-gatte carrying on with tired old tropes about 419 scams and drug dealers? I think we’re the only country in the world where there is a collective, almost desperate attempt to deny that Nigeria offers excellent opportunities, if managed correctly.

  • nima egumbo says:

    The costs of doing business in Nigeria due to lack of respect for processes, procedures and institutions will make one thinks twice.

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