As a strategic gesture towards improving diplomatic relations between Nigeria and South African, the governments of the two countries have called for an urgent implementation of the Nigeria-South Africa Bi-National Commission, especially to stem the tide of criminality which has contributed to the strained relations between both countries.
The Nigeria-South Africa Bi-national Commission which was established 21 years ago, has a mandate to review cooperation between them on foreign affairs, public enterprises and infrastructure, agriculture, minerals and energy, trade, industry and finance.
Hon. AbikeDabiri-Erewa, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), while speaking during a high level meeting with the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. ThamiMseleku in Abuja, said that if the content of the Nigeria – South Africa Bi-National Commission is implemented to the letter, early warning systems, security and Intelligence gathering as well as people to people contacts will be achieved.
She also noted that the lack of knowledge on the part of some people in South Africa was responsible for the xenophobic attacks on foreigners, stressing that NiDCOM is ready to work with the South African High Commissioner to nip the situation in the bud.
Amb. ThamiMseleku, South African High Commissioner to Nigeria in his remarks explained that only a few bad eggs on both sides of the divide are sending-out negative narratives which the government is working hard to curtail.
According to him, “all these rumours labeling Nigerians as criminals are not true just as not all South Africans are xenophobic in nature”.
The South African envoy expressed the view that some politicians are behind some of the crises in South Africa, using it for political gains against Nigerians.
He also debunked social media reports that Nigerians have been asked to leave South Africa, saying that Nigerians are excelling in all fields of human endeavours and contributing significantly to South Africa’s development.
Amb. Mseleku further revealed that he is working closely with the Nigerian Embassy in South Africa to foil the schemes of fake news authors, who incite news to cause frictions between the two countries, through monitoring of information and knowledge sharing.