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Posted by on Monday August 20, 2012 9:53:28:

In South Africa, there are hardly any formidable companies with a Nigerian origin operating there but the case is different with Nigeria which has in the last decade, witnessed what I would call an invasion of her economy from South African giants

There are quite a number of South African companies already entering Nigeria and it seems that as South Africa's economy expands, more of such private owned companies tend to spread their interests towards West Africa with Nigeria witnessing a massive inflow of them.

They are like octopuses having large strong tentacles that tend to dominate any sector of the economy they put their strings in. They may not yet be into oil business as more Nigerian companies are already in but think of other sectors where they already are and see if there really is any strong locally grown competition.

Sectors in which companies of South African origin are dominating in Nigeria
Well here are some of them:

Cable TV: DSTV
Nowadays, Nigerians hardly watch oridnary tv as most people now watch prepaid tv courtesy of DSTV - An SA grown company

Telecommunication: MTN is the largest and strongest Telecom company in Nigeria and it is still growing strong. Well, they do offer a great service but Nigerian grown companies need to do more to reduce the almost dwarfed dominance by MTN.

Shopping malls: Shoprite, Nandos and the rest are taking over. Prices are really cheap at shoprite and you would wonder why you should go out to the open market to get stuff you can get cheaper at Shoprite where you also get Air conditioning and a VIP treatment except for their bread queues.

Banking: Stanbic IBTC: Mostly owned by Standard bank
Well, Nigerian banks tend to be living up to expectation as not many South African banks have dominated here.

Construction: Entech and Group Five are winning a lot of contracts in cities and growing cities like Lagos, Abuja and the Niger delta.

Electrical power: Eskom runs the prepaid card bills for Nigeria's PHCN. Imagine that?

Profits repatriation
Nigeria has a trade agreement that allows South African companies to take back much of their profits out of the country and not pay taxes in South Africa if they've already paid in Nigeria. Is Nigeria really gaining anything from allowing South Africa businesses thrive in the country while Nigeria businesses are choked in South Africa? The apartheid is over and South Africa is already dominating Nigeria unlike before.

But they are registered Nigerian companies
It's true that most of these South African originated companies are Nigerian companies having been registered as private Nigerian companies by the Corporate Affairs Commission but they are actually part of a large South African company that have more of their interests at heart.

The good they do
Although we may say that allowing South African interests to have almost unlimited access to the Nigerian economy may be a bad thing, there are however some good benefits Nigerians derive from their investment such as:

- More job opportunities
- Helping to grow Nigeria's economy
- Encourages competition and better service delivery from Nigerian companies
- Encourages capitalism

But South Africa doesn't treat Nigerians right
There is a truth in that as we can recall the deportation of over 125 Nigerians were deported for using fake yellow fever certificates. Even if the Nigerians didn't have a card, they should have been allowed entry as fellow Africans rather than being treated as outcasts. This is Africa we are talking about and we could remember the time South Africans were seeking for Nigeria's help during their apartheid and war.

Nigeria should just not allow South African businesses free reign on our economy if Nigerian companies too cannot have the same freedom and if they still treat Nigerians as unwanted foreigners in their country. I think they should not be a visa requirement for Nigerians travelling to South Africa and South Africa likewise to Nigeria such as it is done in West Africa.


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