At the time, MTN’s investment in Nigeria a few years earlier had been a catalyst for many other South African companies taking their business there. Nigeria was rebuilding its economy after years of military rule.
The scale and speed of investment from SA led some Nigeria commentators to suggest SA had a neocolonial agenda to conquer their country. At the time, this claim was not uncommon in the rest of Africa either. The sudden arrival of well-resourced companies from another African country offering world-class goods and services was a surprise to many — and mostly an unwelcome one.