Lagos: Naval chiefs from thirteen countries of the Gulf of Guinea are to meet in Calabar, Cross River State to examine ways of curbing growing maritime crimes especially crude oil theft. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) recently said the country experienced a drop in oil revenue of about $1.23 (N191 billion) basically due to theft and pipeline vandalism. The Nigeria naval headquarters said in a statement yesterday that Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba and his counterparts from Ghana, Cote D'Ivoire, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Benin Republic, Senegal, Togo, Gabon, Cameroun and Sao Tome and Principe as well as the Commanders, United States African Command and the US Naval Forces Africa will make presentations on maritime crimes at the first ever 'Gulf of Guinea Regional Maritime Awareness Capability Conference' in Calabar between July 29 and 31, 2013.
Lagos: Dangote Industries, majority shareholder in Dangote Cement, on Monday sold 1.5 percent of its stake in Nigeria's biggest listed firm to South Africa's Public Investment Corporation (PIC) for $289.3 million. Renaissance Capital, broker to the deal, said Dangote Industries sold 1.5 percent of its 95 percent stake in Africa's biggest cement producer at 179 naira per share. Dangote Cement shares, which make up a third of the Nigerian stock market, traded flat on Monday at 210 naira, staying at an all time high.
Abuja: The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Nnenna Ukeje, has described the renewed attacks on Nigerians in South Africa as distressing. In a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on Sunday, the lawmaker said that the renewed attacks came at a time when Nigeria and South Africa had shown commitment to fostering closer relationships.
I noted with interest the response from Amedu Ogbole Ode, the spokesperson in the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (‘Nigeria’s Foreign Policy – in Decline or Robust?’, Vanguard, 13 and 14 May 2013; and The Guardian, May 15 and 16, 2013) to my article ‘Decline of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy’ (The Guardian, May 6, 2013).
Abuja: The Nigerian Consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Thursday criticised what it described as the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in the country. Mr Okey Emuchay, the Consulate-General of Nigeria in Johannesburg, said in Springbok, in the Northern Province of South Africa, that labelling all Nigerians in the country as drug dealers was "unacceptable''. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 23 Nigerians were forced out of their homes and chased out of Port Nolloth community on Sunday (May 26) by some South Africans members of the community, accusing them of dealing in drugs.
Johannesburg: The lack of economic diversification throughout sub-Saharan Africa means that despite South Africa’s pledges to help Nigeria make the automotive sector the West African nation’s flagship industrial target, it may be difficult to do so, experts say. Earlier this month, South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies announced the initiative during a visit here by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. It is a move that is seen as an important milestone in inter-African industrial cooperation. However, Peter Draper, a research fellow at the South African Institute of International Affairs, questioned whether this collaboration would develop into economic integration.
Abuja: Nigeria and South African are working towards a prisoner exchange agreement, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru, said on Friday in Abuja. Mr. Ashiru said a discussion on the swap was one of the positive outcomes of the recent visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to the country. During the visit, Mr. Jonathan had lamented the huge number of Nigerians in South African prisons, which was put at some 400 inmates.
Abuja: I read the article titled ‘Decline of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy’, published in The Guardian of May 6, 2013 by Dr. Adekeye Adebajo, Executive Director for Conflict Resolution, Cape Town, South Africa. He obviously did not do the basic research to capture activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the last two years, before writing his article. It is curious that a ‘scholar’ could write an article on Foreign Policy and deliberately dish out false information to the wider public, for self aggrandisement. It is, therefore, appropriate to write this article to put the record straight and not allow the dissemination of falsehood, based on intellectual laziness or plain mischief, to triumph over truth.
Abuja: AmeduOgbole Ode, Acting Director/Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in this concluding part of the discourse, argues that Nigeria has made considerable strides in its foreign relations which are worthty of commendation: Such high level meetings have attracted considerable investment portfolios to the country. Dr. Adebajo, in his article, failed to highlight the gains of our economic diplomacy which the Jonathan Administration has given renewed vigour in the last two years.
Johannesburg: SA-Nigeria trade volumes have swelled notably over the course of the past decade. Whereas in 2001, total bilateral trade amounted to just USD3.2bn, last year total trade breached USD36.6bn, implying an almost twelvefold leap in the space of a decade. However, in 2012, 83% of total SA-Nigerian trade was accounted for by South African imports of Nigerian crude oil. Quite clearly, this component of SA-Nigeria trade has been responsible for much of the recent leap in ties. Indicatively, where SA exports to Nigeria have grown by a relatively modest 130% since 2002, SA imports from Nigeria have swelled by almost 750% in the same time period.