Let us remind South Africans that for every penny a Nigerian makes in South Africa, South Africans are making multiples of that in Nigeria. MTN belongs to South Africa. Maybe South Africa would force Nigeria to send MTN going. DSTV belongs to South Africa. Maybe we can now put pressure for DSTV to go. Afterall, many times, MTN would drop your line. You would send a text and it would not be delivered. We used to have UTC, Leventis and Kingsway until Shoprite from South Africa. Maybe it is time for Shoprite to go.
Those were the words of a “distinguished” Senator, Olusola Adeyeye from Osun State. Also, Senator Rose Oko from Cross River, alongside Senators Tejuoso Olarenwaju, Ibrahim Kurfi and Obinna Ogba, urged the Senate in a motion to advise the Federal Government to reconsider Nigeria’s diplomatic ties with South Africa. Sometimes I can’t tell if the people we send to represent us are people who know the job or people who can only win elections. In the thick of a nationwide economic recession affecting 180 million people, Senators are suggesting driving big businesses out of the country? I ask again, do these guys know the job at all?
Xenophobia is a crime everyone condemns, even the South African government… at least legally. Occasionally, dumb people in South Africa will create mayhem and demand for foreigners to leave. But that’s all it is: mayhem by dumb people. The government of South Africa condemns xenophobic attacks and orders their law enforcement to arrest and prosecute their citizens for it. If we have to be politically correct (never mind if that term means anything to our those Senators), a retaliation against South Africa for the illegal activity of a handful of their citizens is not to be mentioned, definitely not in the Senate Chambers during a live session; what is strong with these people?
Experts say foreign investors make up an important aspect of a nation’s economy, and their massive withdrawal (in our case) may just be the cause of the recession we now experience. If that is true, please, I’d like to know the line of thought that says threatening the biggest foreign telecommunications investors in the country on live TV is a good idea. If MTN, DSTV, SHOPRITE and all South African businesses leave Nigeria, please tell me what good that does to us; would it correct the mentality of individuals in South Africa and make them receive us with love and warmth? No. Nothing good can possibly come out of that.
Moves like this will further threaten the security of Nigerians and their business in South Africa; ruin our diplomatic ties with South Africa and its allies; and increase the rate of unemployment in our own country. It’s not a solution to the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, it’s a problem to our economy. It’s the wrong move!