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Nigeria, AfCFTA and Factor of Xenophobia

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Nigeria News takes a look at the AfCFTA and the factor of xenophobia.

Nigerians have suffered most of the xenophobic attacks across Africa. Hundreds of Nigerians have been killed in South Africa, Ghana, Libya and many other parts of Africa by racial bigots.

None of their killers have been prosecuted by any government despite the protest by the Federal Government of Nigeria. A Nigerian businesswoman, Elizabeth Ndubuisi-Chukwu was killed in South Africa last week and another man, simply identified as Emeka was killed by a mob after Nigeria defeated South Africa at the ongoing African Cup of Nation in Egypt. Over 127 Nigerians have been killed in South Africa.

Many are sold as slaves in Libya and our Ghanaian neighbours have suddenly developed hatred for Nigerians who visit Ghana to do business in Accra and Kumasi.

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa is doing a lot to bring Nigerians back home from their various countries of sojourn.

Despite government efforts, Nigerians have continued to face xenophobic attacks with many of them being slaughtered on a daily basis.

Yet, entrepreneurs from some of these countries have their investments in Nigeria, capitalizing on the over 200 million population and the skills of its youths to grow their businesses.

The South African owned telecommunication giant, MTN and the Multichoice Digital Television, DSTV make much of their profits in Nigeria but over there in their country, Nigerians face serious xenophobic attacks.

There is no doubt that an average Nigerian is domineering in nature. He is skillful, talented and educated. A good investor will always show interest in a Nigerian.

However, it is sad that despite the abundant talents, there is no enough space to accommodate many of the youths in Nigeria due to bad government policy and poor working conditions. They seek greener pasture to exhibit these talents but get killed in the process.

Some African countries have not been fair to Nigeria in this trying period. Chief among them is South Africa. On Thursday, South Africa gave VisaFree Access to Ghana but refused Nigeria.

This singular action of the South African Government has confirmed that the xenophobic attack on Nigerians is a consequence of the hatred the government has against the Nigerian Government.

It is unfortunate that despite the positive roles of Nigeria in the fight against apartheid in South Africa, Nigerians will have to struggle for a visa to visit the Zulus’ nation.

Perhaps that was why it took President Muhammadu Buhari a long time to sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

Nigeria became the 53rd country to join the African Continental Free Trade Area on Sunday in Niamey, Niger Republic.

But, speaking at the event in Niamey, Buhari noted that as much as Nigeria supported free trade among the African countries, the trade must also be fair to all.

He said, “Nigeria wishes to emphasize that free trade must also be fair trade.

‘‘I wish to assure you that Nigeria shall sustain its strong leadership role in Africa, in the implementation of the AfCFTA. We shall also continue to engage, constructively with all African countries to build the Africa that we want.”

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