The Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, called on the Federal Government to ensure a complete takeover of Shoprite, the MTN and other South African businesses in the country by Nigerians.
The party also called for the revocation of licences of banks owned by the South Africans in Nigeria including Stanbic IBTC and Standard Chartered banks.
The party made the calls after an emergency meeting of the National Working Committee in Abuja on Thursday presided over by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Oshiomhole said the attitude of the ruling African National Congress and that of the South African government indicated approval of the unwarranted attacks on black immigrants and wanton destruction of their property.
He said, “Having listened to all the explanations from the authorities in South Africa, these people are neither being accused of being irregular migrants nor were they involved in any illegal activities. Those who have business permit to set up businesses, whether they are pretty traders or small manufacturers, are operating within the letters of the law of the South African nation.
“Over the past one year and virtually every other week, Nigerians are being wasted in one part of South Africa or the other. We know that the Federal Government has had conversations with the South African authorities drawing their attention to these abuses but the escalation of the attacks on foreigners – many of who are Nigerians – has reached a level that is no longer tolerable.
“At some point, people wonder whether these attacks had the backing of the South African government. What has been clear over the period is that the South African authorities have not demonstrated sufficient commitment to bring these attacks to an end. For example, in spite of the fact that many peoples’ lives have been wasted, not one South African is known to have been convicted and sentenced to prison.
“South African companies are making billions of dollars from the Nigerian economy year in year out and repatriate same out of Nigeria. The MTN was recently in the stock market and some Nigerians bought shares in the MTN but in a moment like this and in order to send a very strong message to the South African authorities and the South African people, Nigeria government must take steps to take over the remaining shares of the MTN that are owned by South African so that the MTN become fully Nigeria owned.”
The former Edo State governor said South Africans had not reciprocated the kind gestures extended them by Nigerians in the past.
He asked them to look inward for the cause of their problems instead of attacking Africans who accounted for only two per cent of their gross domestic product.
Oshiomhole urged Nigerians to protest against the killing of their brothers and sisters and other nationals by boycotting South African businesses and goods.
“I think right away, Nigerians in our individual capacities, this is the moment to show our commitment by boycotting South African good and beginning with Nigerians refusing from today to use MTN services. If Nigeria decides at least for the next 30 days to stop using the MTN, they would have sent a clear message.
“We should reflect on why we should continue to allow the DSTV to repatriate millions of dollars to South Africa arising from their activities in Nigeria. We have reviewed all of those things that give South Africans monopoly such that they make money with very little value addition.
“To show that we mean business and in a practical step, the South African Airways, landing right in Nigeria should be stopped until these issues are sorted out.
“Many Nigerians believed that Shoprite is owned by South Africans. They are repatriating money purely from franchise, but the capital with which these shopping malls were built were Nigeria’s. The shop owners are Nigerians. This poses an obligation on the government to review any agreement that gives South Africans power to develop monopoly in our commercial lives.
“We have a duty to encourage the government to do what we believe is right. Happily, the government has already taken the initiative. This resolution we have reached will be communicated to Mr President and to the Federal Government. And, it will be up to the government to decide how to respond to them.
“But, we need the government to recognise that Nigerians wants a more firm action because the MTN cannot be carting away money, the DSTV carting away so much money; Shoprite making so much money from their franchise and Stanbic dealing with corporate Nigerians patronising the oil companies making fabulous billions of dollars and South Africans are wasting away our young men and women people – who are struggling to manage small businesses.
“This is meant to give the government the support base it needs to proceed with further direct measures. And, I think on this issue, Nigerians are united across all the divides. We must protect Nigeria’s image and protect its citizens and businesses wherever they are. And, any country that attacks our businesses, an injury to one is an injury many. That must be the philosophy. Nigeria first.
“We also know that Standard Chartered Bank and Stanbic Bank, are South African banks, Nigerians may have more shares there, if any. It is time to ask them to wind up so that Nigerian banks will take advantage of their departure and expand their operation. We have enough to save by transferring these businesses to Nigerians.”