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Nigeria, South Africa approve visa waivers for official passport holders, okay bilateral agreements on legal, oil and gas, others

Nigeria and South Africa on Tuesday signed an agreement aimed at ending visa acquisition by holders of official and diplomatic passports. Ministers from both countries have been charged to ensure the effective implementation of the newly signed instruments and the conclusion of outstanding agreements. Migrate to South AfricaBoth Presidents, Jacob Zuma and  Goodluck Jonathan met in Cape Town, South Africa where various issues were discussed on how to improve on relationship between both countries as they agreed on so many issues aimed at boosting development in the continent. Beside the visas waiver agreement, both countries also signed eight other bilateral agreements which include,  cooperation in legal field, oil and gas sectors, power sector development, environment, defence cooperation, women development and empowerment as well as child development. The bilateral agreements also cover geology, mining, mineral processing and metallurgy and fields of information and communication technology. For both presidents, stronger ties between both countries are necessary if the continent's fortune is to be improved. In his view, President Zuma said, “we have a duty to take this historic relationship further. Our two countries have already grown very warm bilateral relations structured through the bi-national commission that was officially inaugurated in 1999." The meeting also afforded President Zuma the opportunity to express his joy also the number of South African companies doing businesses in Nigeria, the biggest investment being in the telecommunication sector. He further noted that it is the intention of South Africa to expand to other sectors such as engineering, construction, banking, oil and the media. He also advocated for both countries to promote people to people relationship especially through tourism which he said has generated huge Foreign Direct Investment for the country. "Last year alone, South Africa received a total of 73,282 Nigerian tourists, a 13.8 per cent increase from 2011 contributing about 720 million Rands to the South African economy within the period." President Jonathan described the signing of nine bilateral agreements between the two countries as a major achievement that would enhance the  critical role of Nigeria and South Africa in transforming the continent, The President later addressed joined session of the South African parliament where he re-echoed the need for the two countries to strengthen partnership in growing the continent's economy. Earlier on his arrival on Monday, President Jonathan met Nigerian community in Western Cape assuring them that the Federal Government was taking necessary steps to guarantee the security of lives and property of Nigerian. The issue of constant police harassment of Nigerians resident in the South Africa also came up during their discussions. Most of the citizens who spoke during the session challenged President Jonathan to engage his counterpart to better resolve diplomatic row between the two nations. Nigerians resident in Cape Town province are yet reconcile with Police harassment that led to recent killing of a Nigerian businessman, Mr. Obina Ugboaja in January this year. President of the Nigerian Community in Western Cape Town Province, Mr. Azu Okparaugo had earlier commended President Jonathan on various policies being implemented under the transformation agenda to improve the economy. He also urged said the  Federal Government to establish a consular office in South Africa to effectively address the needs of about 25,000 Nigerian living in the country and to make good his electoral promises, especially in the area of power and other critical sectors such as security and electoral reforms. "You have to move and make the power sector work as your legacy," he stressed. Source: http://www.worldstagegroup.com/worldstagenew/index.php?active=news&newscid=8539&catid=3

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