Nigeria, South Africa Now Relate At Highest Level


The Nigerian and South African government have elevated their bi-national commission, which was operating at the ministerial level, to the highest level, between the Head of States and reviewed several existing bilateral and multilateral relations between them.

This was disclosed by the President of both countries, Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma while speaking with journalists at a joint press briefing at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

South Africa-Nigeria Bi-national Commission was established in 1999, and both countries have about 30 standing bilateral agreements and memorandum of understanding.

Zuma, who is in Nigeria on a two-day working visit, said the development was hinged at promoting trade and economic relationships between the two countries which would also give the Presidents enough room to re-solidify, monitor and sustain the nation’s relations that date back to the days of South African liberation from apartheid.

“We have recognized the important role played by the South Africa-Nigeria Bi-national Commission since its inception in 1999. As we forge a strategic partnership between the two sister nations, we have decided to elevate the Bi-national Commission (BNC) to the level of Heads of State,” Zuma said.

“In this way, my brother and I will be able to lead as well as monitor progress in various areas of cooperation.”

Zuma also revealed that the South African Government was working on releasing the $15 million arms procurement funds ceased from the previous administration, noting that relevant South African agencies were still investigating other transfers that seemed illegitimate but assured that the government would release every fund belonging to Nigeria at the conclusion of their investigations.

GDP Growth Further Reveals Reliance On Oil
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in data made available to the public, has revealed that the economy grew at a lesser percentage than it grew in the third quarter (Q3) of 2015.

According to the NBS, in the Q4 2015, the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 3.10 percent (quarter on quarter) and grew by 2.11 percent (year-on-year) in real terms which was 0.73 percent points lower from growth recorded in the preceding quarter and 3.83 percent points lower from growth recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2014.

During the Q4, aggregate GDP stood at N25,930,469.41 million (in nominal terms) at basic prices. Compared with the Q4 2014 value of N24,205,863.34 million, nominal GDP was 7.12 percent higher.

Nominal GDP growth was also higher relative to growth recorded in Q3 of 2015 by 1.11 percent points. The Nigerian economy can be more clearly understood according to the oil and non-oil sector classifications.

“During the period under review, oil production stood at 2.16 million barrels per day (mbpd) 0.3 percent lower from production in Q3 of 2015. Oil production was also lower relative to the corresponding quarter in 2014 by 1.0 percent when output was recorded at 2.19mbpd,” a statement by the NBS said.

The non-oil sector grew by 3.14 percent in real terms in Q4 of 2015. This was 0.08 percent points higher from Q3 of 2015, yet 3.30 percent points lower from the corresponding quarter in 2014. In real terms, the non-oil sector contributed 91.94 percent to the nation's GDP, higher from shares recorded in Q3 of 2015 (89.73%) and Q4 of 2014 (91.03%).

Growth in the non-oil sector was largely driven by the activities of trade, crop production and information and communication, other services and real estate.

Story by David Oputah