Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo says the frosty relationship that developed between Nigeria and South Africa following a failed arms deal during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan is being mended.
Speaking to Journalists while in South Africa, Osinbajo after a meeting with both President Jacob Zuma and his Deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, where issues of common interests to both countries were discussed, said there was a renewed diplomatic relations between Nigeria and South Africa.
He also commissioned a new Consular section building of the Nigerian High Commission office in Pretoria on Saturday. Osinbajo also revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari would soon host President Zuma in Abuja.
“The meetings went very well. Some of the critical areas both countries are expecting to deal with in the coming years were discussed. You know, President Zuma will be visiting Nigeria very soon.
“These meetings, in some senses, are preparatory and we are looking forward to seeing him(President Zuma), and we thought it might be useful to mention one or two things that will be important in the meeting that he will be having with President Buhari very shortly,” he said.
He assured that the ties between Nigeria and South Africa would be further strengthened under the Buhari administration, observing that “there is chemistry between President Buhari and President Zuma.”
The Vice President also attended the annual Pan-Africa Prophetic Gathering hosted by the House of Revival Church in Brakpan and also met the South African leaders in Midrand made possible by a policy conference of the ruling African National Congress, ANC.
He was equally hosted to a Business dinner by the members of the South African Chamber of Commerce and also held an interactive session with Nigerians based in the country.
Speaking at the dinner, he urged Nigerians and South Africans to put aside any difference and pursue prosperity across the two countries.
“We need to create an enabling environment where people who want to do business don’t have to compromise themselves, there are those who would rather not do business if they have to compromise,” Osinbajo said.
He also charged African leaders to entrench an economic policy that would accommodate the rich and poor in their countries, saying that in Nigeria, “we now have to plan our budgets as a nation with the realization of the huge number of the extremely poor in our population.”
According to him, an important part of the solution to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor was by investing in education
The Vice President further explained the social investment plans of the Buhari administration to include the Conditional Cash Transfer and School Feeding programmes to the gathering.
He stated that “once this model succeeds, it may become a model to sell to other countries in Africa.”