The South African government has promised to reach an agreement with Nigeria to ensure that Federal Government’s funds for arms seized by South African authorities is returned and to also ensure it does not reoccur in future.
It would be recalled that the South African Revenue Service seized Nigeria’s $15m meant for arms purchase at Lanseria Airport, north-west of Johannesburg, on September 5, 2014, which had yet to be released almost two years after.
South African President, Jacob Zuma, had during his three-day state visit to Nigeria in March, stated that the money would be released after all the investigations were concluded.
The South African Secretary for Defence and Military Veterans, Dr. Sam Gulube, while fielding questions from journalists shortly after the opening ceremony of the Nigeria-South Africa Defence Industry inaugural seminar in Abuja on Monday said the issue had been settled, but that legal framework will be discussed with his Nigerian counterpart to guard against future recurrence.
“The issue has been settled, but to avoid a future recurrence, I would hold a discussion with my counterparts and look into the legal framework to ensure that seizure of funds doesn’t recur.”
Speaking at the seminar, Gulube said the seminar would help South Africa and Nigeria identify tools to develop and face today’s threats,
Stressing that he was in the country to learn from Nigeria, Gulube added:
“This seminar would play critical roles to ensure the two countries have peace and security so they can have prosperity. The defence industry have great roles to play in development and economic security and it is only through advancement of defence technology that the two economies can grow and reduce dependence on oil and other mineral resources.”
He also lauded Nigeria’s leading roles during his country’s struggle with apartheid, saying South Africa could not have been where it was today if Nigeria has not supported her.