How Nigeria Is Growing South Africa’s Economy


Has it occurred to you that there are many ways Nigeria is growing South African Economy without been aware?

Let us start with the cable television monopoly in Nigeria, (DSTv). Represented in Nigeria as Multichoice Nigeria, this company few years ago launched a low end version called GoTv, which they used to counter the entrance of the Chinese owned Startimes which focused on low entry market.

Photo credit: Buzzsouthafrica

Today, they have effectively monopolised the cable TV industry in Nigeria, both high end and low end, stifling out smaller competition.No serious economy allows such nonsense….but this is Nigeria…where anything goes.

DSTV which is owned by Naspers increases bouquet prices by double-digits every 16 months on average and continues to operate a subtle monopoly which is a huge benefit given Nigeria’s population and love for football (soccer). Football is not the most popular sport in South Africa and is not even second. Rugby and Cricket are way ahead in terms of popularity and viewership.

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In South Africa, DSTv subscribers are given the option to switch off their subscription especially when they are traveling out of town, and to switch it on when they return. But in Nigeria, we pay for subscription on monthly basis, even when we watch for just five days.

Naspers is the largest company in Africa by market cap at over $66 Billion. This figure for one Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed company is more than the total market capitalization of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

MTN Group makes more money in Nigeria than from any other country it operates in including the home country of South Africa. Over 33% of global revenues are from Nigeria only.

Nigeria’s asset management behemoth (Stanbic IBTC) is majority owned by the Standard Bank Group. This gives South Africa’s and Africa’s largest bank control over a significant portion of Nigeria’s asset management industry.

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Nedbank owns 20% of Ecobank Transnational. Ecobank Nigeria is the largest subsidiary of Ecobank Transnational. South Africa’s fourth-largest bank pretty much owns 20% of Ecobank Nigeria which is Nigeria’s 6th largest bank by assets.

Yet ETI was not allowed to open shop in South Africa, it could only succeed in getting approval for a representative office in Johannesburg.

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Will Shoprite publicly release its figures so we can put a finger on the contribution of Nigeria to company-wide revenue?

There are two dedicated Nigeria mutual funds operating from South Africa; one is operated by Renaissance Asset Management and the other by Sustainable Capital. Nigeria has nothing of the sort in the reverse.

Well informed Nigerians will argue that ‘are they not employing Nigerians’, as if employment opportunities is all a country gets fro foreign investment.

I have been of the persuasion that successive Nigerian governments have been dumb in the area of economic diplomacy. They failed woefully to understand that economic interests are now the centre piece of the diplomacy of nations around the world.

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Will the Buhari government be different?

Will this government give opportunities to men and women with hands on understanding of the intricacies of 21st century international economic diplomacy to run both our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Finance?

Men and women who understand the ground- up approach towards protecting national economic interests, not only those with chains of degrees.

Nigeria can run effectively without oil, trade is the key, and being Africa’s largest market has far greater advantages than providing openings for foreigners to make huge kills.

Kelechi Decal | Facebook


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