South African government says it is considering issuing a 10-year visa to Nigerian business operators to boost relationship between both countries.
Thamsanqa Mseleku, South Africa’s high commissioner to Nigeria, said this on Thursday during an Arise TV programme.
Mseleku encouraged more Nigerian businesses, especially financial institutions, to expand their businesses to South Africa.
“Yes, Nigerian businesses are operating in South Africa, and this issue was raised in 2019 when President Buhari was in South Africa, specifically referring to Access Bank and Air Peace. Today, Access bank has opened a bank in South Africa and is active and Air Peace is flying to South Africa,” he said.
“So, the issue is that we must encourage more businesses that want to go to South Africa from Nigeria to do so, particularly in the financial sector.”
Speaking on the inaccessibility of visas to Nigerian business personnel, the envoy said: “For business people, we are agreeing and we would continue to implement longer term visas for them. We are now looking at actually ensuring they get up to 10 years of visa because we are improving the situation.
“We do agree that there is a challenge with relation turnaround time because of the capacities in our embassies and these are some of the issues discussed.”
Mseleku also said that the bilateral agreements being signed by both countries would be fully implemented in the coming years.
“There is this notion that we just meet each other, sign agreements and that is how we keep the friendships. But these two presidents are very clear that it is not the kind of relationship they are looking for,” the high commissioner said.
“They are going to supervise, work, and have joint reports on implementations because they are serious on getting things actually working.
“So, this time around, I promise you, in two years’ time when we see President Buhari in South Africa, we wouldn’t be saying ‘Was there half implementation or no implementation?’
“I can promise that more of these agreements would have been implemented.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa had recently visited President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, Nigeria.
During the visit, new memoranda of understanding (MOU) between Nigeria and South Africa were signed while existing ones were reviewed.