Zuma To Attend Buhari’s Inauguration | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Zuma To Attend Buhari’s Inauguration

Posted: May 28, 2015 at 6:18 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

 By Celestine Amoke, Lagos

President Jacob Zuma of South Africa is expected in Nigeria for President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration on May 29, 2015.

Zuma’s trip would be a ”working visit” and besides Buhari’s inauguration, it would also give the two presidents the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual concern, his office said on Thursday, May 28, 2015.

His deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, would already have left for London for his own working visit there.

If the report is released as planned, Zuma would be fulfilling presidential duties in Nigeria such as enhancing the ”good” bilateral relations between the two countries, and strengthening economic ties.

”President Zuma also congratulated the people of Nigeria for conducting a peaceful, transparent, credible, free and fair election as declared by the Independent National Election Commission of Nigeria,” his office stated.

His attendance at the inauguration comes after a fraught period between the two. Recall that Nigeria called two of its high ranking diplomats in South Africa for consultations during xenophobic violence in South Africa in April, and in February, after a frustrating delay, the remaining 11 bodies of the 85 South Africans killed in a building collapse there last September were brought home.

In background, the presidency said diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1994, with the creation of a bi-national commission in 1999. Thirty four bilateral agreements had been signed by the two countries.

Total trade had increased from R15 billion in 2009 to R42 billion in 2013.

South African exports to and imports from Nigeria from January to December 2014 stood at R10.5 billion and R55.7 billion, respectively.

The presidency said Nigeria enjoys a surplus trade balance with South Africa, which is attributable to huge quantities of oil imports from Nigeria.

Meanwhile, South Africa exports vehicles, aircraft and vessels, iron and steel products, machinery and equipment and plastics and rubber.

South African companies who have interests in Nigeria include MTN, Shoprite and RMB bank.

Zuma would be accompanied by Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Co-operation.