The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) had in October 2015 fined telecommunications giant, MTN the sum of N1.04 trillion for its refusal to deactivate 5.2 million unregistered and improperly registered SIM cards on its network. The fine caused panic for MTN in particular and the industry in general. Immediately this happened the company approached the NCC and other arms of government for a soft landing concerning the fine.
This was ongoing until March 2016 when Nigeria received an August visitor in person of President Jacob zuma. He came with a large retinue of business leaders from South Africa, some of whom already have flourishing businesses here under the guise of a “trade visit” and was given the privilege of addressing the joint session of the National Assembly in the presence of President Buhari.
To close watchers of the events then we all knew Jacob Zuma came for no other reason than the fine imposed on MTN by the Nigerian Government. True to speculations he met the President and other top echelon of the administration including COS Abba kyari for a soft landing on the fine. June 2016 and the purpose of the visit came into fruition as the Federal Government reduced MTN’s fine from N1.04 trillion to N330bn.
In another situation, there was a xenophobic attack in February 2017 in South Africa where Nigerians were killed and properties worth millions of dollars destroyed. According to SA Foreign Affairs to President Buhari, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, five buildings with Nigerian businesses, including a church were looted and burned by South Africans. One of the buildings is a mechanic workshop with 28 cars under repairs, with other vital documents burnt during the attack. Also, the pastor of the church was wounded among others.
The only reaction from the Nigerian Government to this xenophobic attack was to condemn the attacks through statements from various political office holders. Despite the fact that more than 100 Nigerians have been killed in the country in the last two years the President did not deem it fit to visit the country to protest the killings the way he visited Oyo state on the 13th of October 2000 to protest the killing of his Fulani people neither did the vice president did.
The only delegation that went was led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs which was a lesser delegation compared to the delegation of South Africans that came to plead for the MTN fine and the result is visible for all to see. On Thursday 17th August, another Nigerian was killed in South Africa by the South African police which made a mess of the visit of the minister.
It is instructive to note at this juncture that the Nigerian Government has treated the killings of Nigerians in South Africa with kid gloves and it will go unabated until the man at the helms of affair in Nigeria travels down to the sun city to meet his colleague on behalf of the helpless Nigerians in the country.