By IGHODALO EMIATOR:
Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa visits Nigeria. Zuma came with a large retinue of business leaders from South Africa, some of whom already have flourishing businesses here. He was given the great privilege of addressing the joint session of our National Assembly. No doubt about it, this visit was as big as any state visit could get.
Apparently speculation have it that the South African president came here to plead for MTN which is reeling from the US$5.2 billion (N1.1 trillion) fine that MTN calls “the world record” in punitive corporate penalties.
MTN had tried negotiation and court action. When they failed, they obviously persuaded the South African president to engage President Muhammadu Buhari and settle the matter politically. If you put it bluntly President Zuma came to beg Nigeria. The symbolism of this issue should not be lost on us.
It shows that Nigeria has the capacity to move mountains on the African continent. Nigeria has a ton of influence over its continental rivals, South Africa. Nigeria can hurt South Africa’s strategic interests more than they can hurt ours.