Nigeria and South Africa will continue to have a strong diplomatic relations despite recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in the former apartheid nation, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said on Friday.
He made the disclosure while appearing before the Senate Committee on Diaspora at the National Assembly in Abuja.
According to Onyeama, any severance of relations with the South African Government would greatly affect over 800, 000 Nigerians living legally in that country.
He said, “We are not by any means at a stage where we are breaking diplomatic relations with South Africa.
“We just met with the senate committee to review the situation with regards to South Africa and we looked at all the possible options and analysed the possible causes and agreed on a strategy going forward.
“Part of that on the executive side is that President Muhammadu Buhari had dispatched a special envoy to South Africa who would be holding discussion with the South African Government at the very highest level.
“He (leader of the envoy) should be back tomorrow (Saturday), that will now give the government the basis for further action.”
In a series of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other African migrants, which began on August 28, over 50 shops and several investments belonging to foreigners had been destroyed while at least 10 persons were killed in the ensuing violence.
The situation has continued to anger many Nigerians back home with many taking to the streets to protest and attack South African businesses across the country in retaliation.