The Consul-General of the South Africa High Commission, Mr. Darkey Africa, has disclosed plans to aggressively ramp up the trade volume between Nigeria and South Africa to $1 trillion.
Darkey said this while speaking in a chat with THISDAY during the South Africa’s National Day celebration/Mandela at 100.
The celebration which took place in Lagos was sponsored by Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria (RMBN)
According to him, the volume of trade between both countries stood at $60 billion as of 2016.
“The commitment that the Department of Internal Relations has been mandated is that they should increase the trade volume to at least $1 trillion.
“It is possible. We have seen a lot of interactions between business people here in Nigeria and we want to see more.
“You know, when people invest, it takes a little bit of time, and we hope that we are able to see the figures increase,” the envoy explained.
He highlighted move by both countries to relax visa requirements so as to allow business men from both countries travel easily from one country to another, as some of the measures being put in place to improve trade volume between the two leading countries in the continent.
“We want to deal with the challenges around visa issues. We also want to ensure that we engage with governments and other stakeholders.
“We are working very hard with the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce to try and build the volume of trade.
“We had seen some decline in the volume of trade between South Africa and Nigeria, and we are working with all the stakeholders to ensure we improve that,” he said.
According to Africa, the event was to celebrate 24 years of freedom in Africa, as well as the centenary of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu.
“We are remembering those who fought for our freedom and we are urging everyone to try and emulate these leaders and be like them.
“Today, we are starting the 100 years anniversary of these two leaders and there are events lined up to celebrate them till the end of the year,” he explained.
In his remark at the event, the Chief Executive of RMBN, Mr. Michael Larbie, said his financial institution would continue to support activities that would bring about increased trade volume between both countries by leveraging on South Africa’s skill set and marrying them with Nigeria’s.
According to him, the existence of RMB Nigeria could be attributed in part to Nelson Mandela and his determination to create an environment for South African companies to participate in the global economy, while also inviting international companies to invest in South Africa.
“We are incredibly proud of our Nigerian business and the positive role we continue to play in supporting Nigeria’s economy. Along the same lines of change and development experienced by South Africa, post 1994, we believe Nigeria is experiencing a new period of growth.
“A period of growth and development. We are confident that the economy will recover and blossom after our debilitating recession and we expect that by 2020, we will once again see a growth rate of around seven per cent,” he added.