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3 Nigerian banks to operate in South Africa

The South African government has endorsed three Nigerian banks - First Bank, Union Bank and United Bank for Africa (UBA), to commence retail banking in that country.

Ojo Maduekwe, Minister of Foreign Affairs, disclosed this in Abuja today when be briefed newsmen on the outcome of President Umaru Yar’Adua’s recent visit to South Africa.

He pointed out that Nigerian banks had been making efforts to break into the South African financial and banking sectors without success.

“During the visit, President Yar’Adua took up this issue with his counterpart, Thabo Mbeki who instructed the Reserve Bank of South Africa to permit the three banks,” Maduekwe said.

On the N110,000 refundable deportation fee for Nigerian visa applicants by South African Missions, he said Mbeki also promised to revisit it.

“Mbeki also agreed to the reciprocal waiver of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic and official passports,” Maduekwe said.

The minister reiterated governments’ decision to compile names of affected Nigerians who suffered the xenophobic attacks for compensation by the South African authority.

He commended the South African government for putting a moratorium on the deportation of illegal immigrants.

Maduekwe added that the leaders agreed to fast-track implementation of the 22 bilateral agreements between both countries some of which had been dormant. (NAN)—BusinessDay

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