The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has demanded the federal government’s immediate takeover of South African companies operating in Nigeria to protest her nationals’ killing of Nigerians for no justifiable reason(s).
The ruling party, which condemned the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa, asked the federal government to go beyond the current diplomatic shuttle and talk show with Pretoria over the killings to nationalising South Africa’s companies operating in the country.
While deploring the endless massacre of Nigerians in that country, APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, said that Nigerians should begin the boycott of South African made goods and services to express their displeasure and distaste over the xenophobic attacks.
Among the South African companies Oshiomhole wants the federal government to immediately nationalise are MTN, DSTV, Standard Chartered Bank and Stanbic Bank.
He also appealed to the government to withdraw the landing right of South African Airways in Nigeria. The APC chairman also canvassed the boycott of MTN services for 30 days.
Oshiomhole, who condemned the attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, insisted that the federal government should go beyond talking to acting by nationalising the business franchise of South Africa.
With specific mention of communication giant, MTN, DSTV, Standard Chartered Bank and other lucrative businesses owned by South Africans, the APC said that doing so would send a strong message to South Africa and facilitate Nigerians’ ownership of the companies
Addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday, Oshiomhole declared that the South African government had tacitly endorsed the attacks by her citizens on foreign nationals.
Oshiomhole dismissed the explanation of the South African authorities as he insisted that Nigerians who are doing business in the country were into legitimate ventures.
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 are they involved in any illegal activities. Those who have business permits to set up businesses whether they are petty traders or small manufacturers are operating within the letters of the laws 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 bringing these attacks to an end. For example, in spite of the fact that many people’s lives have been wasted, not one South African is known to have been convicted and sentenced to prison,” he said.
According to him, “South African companies are making billions of dollars from the Nigerian economy year-in-year out and repatriate same out of Nigeria. MTN was recently in the stock market and some Nigerians bought shares in it, but in moment like this and in order to send a very strong message to the South African authorities and South African people, the Nigerian government should take steps to take over the remaining shares of MTN that are owned by South Africans so that MTN becomes fully Nigerian.
“I think right away, Nigerians in our individual capacities, this is the moment to show our commitment by boycotting South African goods and beginning with our people refusing from today to use MTN services. If Nigerians decide at least for the next 30 days to stop using MTN, they would have sent a clear message.
“We should reflect on why we should continue to allow 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 practical step South African Airways, their landing right in Nigeria, should be stopped until these issues are sorted out, Oshiomhole said.
He noted that many Nigerians believed that Shoprite is owned by South Africans, stressing that they are only repatriating money purely from franchise, while the capital which these shopping malls are built is Nigeria’s and the shop owners are Nigerians.
This, he said, “poses obligation on the government to review any agreement that gives South Africans the right to begin to develop monopoly in our commercial lives. We also know that Standard Chartered Bank and Stanbic Bank are all South African entities; 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 operations. We have enough to save by transferring these businesses to Nigerians.”