President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Pretoria, enjoined South Africans to be more tolerant to other Africans and advised Nigerians living in the country to respect the laws of their host country.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s spokesman in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, said the Nigerian leader stated this when he responded to questions during a news conference at the Union Building, alongside his host, President Cyril Ramaphosa.
He called for more tolerance, vigilance and heightened security to ensure safety of citizens, noting ”competition heralded by globalisation, especially with ease in migration, will only get more intense for businesses”.
“Police must be on alert not to allow violence to escalate,’’ he said.
President Buhari said the business world have turned out more dynamic over the years, with foreigners competing with locals in businesses that were initially considered low.
He said the panacea would only be for security agencies to show more interest in market operations, players and likely areas of tensions.
“We both condemn the attacks and the reprisal in strongest terms. We will set up mechanisms for early signals,’’ he said.
Ramaphosa said his country would also create a more enabling environment for Nigerian businesses to thrive in South Africa, acknowledging that more South African companies operate in Nigeria.
He, however, observed that Nigerians were mostly in Small and Medium Scale sectors in his country.
“We have large corporations operating in Nigeria while you have small and medium enterprises from Nigeria here in South Africa,” he said.
He promised to deepen the reforms in his country to open the space for more Nigerian business to “address the imbalance”.
“The rule of law must be obeyed by all citizens. Nigerians in South Africa must obey the rule of law, while South Africans in Nigeria must obey the rule of law,’’ he added.
Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, signed agreements on the minutes of the 9th session of Bi-National Commission.