By Victoria Ojeme
ABUJA— South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni, has advocated the use of dialogue to resolve the issue that had considerably depleted the nation’s oil production output as well as revenue.
The envoy, who made this known at a ceremony to mark the 22nd anniversary of South Africa, re-assured Nigeria of his nation’s commitment towards the growth and development of Nigeria and the entire African continent.
He said the lives lost during the struggle against apartheid could have been saved had dialogue been deployed, stressing that no meaningful development could take place during crisis.
The envoy commended the Federal Government’s efforts at ridding the country of terrorism, particularly in the North-East, adding that the resources used in curtailing terrorism could be used to bring development to the country.
“Nigeria is faced with terrorism. As South Africans, we are concerned with such development and it is our wish that this is brought to an end so that the money that is used to contain terrorism can be used for development.
“On the issue of Niger Delta, we also hoped that Nigeria, as one people, will come to discuss among themselves so that they can bring this to an end and engender development. Nigeria has the potential to become a great country in Africa which, of course, would also be to the benefit of other African countries.
“Our wish is that you discuss with yourselves on and resolve the issue because we, as South Africans, when we started discussing with the apartheid regime, we asked ourselves a question: why didn’t we engage in discussion earlier on?
“Many lives were lost before we could sit down to talk. So we hope that Nigeria also, as one people, would come together and have a peaceful resolution of their challenges,” he said.
While noting that Nigeria and South Africa had been complimenting each other on the democratic process in both countries, Mnguni said on the economic front, efforts were on to see that the two countries worked together to build a sustainable economy in Africa.