NIGERIA is for furthering bilateral ties with India

Nigeria has urged Indian investors for taking advantage of the conducive business atmosphere created in the most populous African nation by the incumbent government. The Nigerian government is business friendly by making the country an investment destination. Major General Chris Sunday Eze, High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, made the observation at a Special Session on ‘’Doing Business with Nigeria’’ organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Kolkata. Speaking about his country, the retired general exhibited a BBC film showing Nigeria as Africa’s most populous nation with a population of 190 million and contributing a significant percentage of African consumer spending. Manufacturing is 14% of the Nigerian economy and much of it is in Food & Beverage. Backward integration is becoming more feasible in certain sectors.  His Excellency Eze said that media organizations such as BBC generally negatively stereotype Africa. So, the positive portrayal of Nigeria in the
BBC film is remarkable. The economy of Nigeria is US$ 446 billion in size. Nigeria is a front runner in ECOWAS and it is a single market with political stability. Nigeria produces 2.5 million barrels of crude oil per day and offshore oil is being discovered.  Nigeria is investing in rail, roads and other
infrastructure. Earlier, Ramesh Agarwal, President, MCCI, in his welcome address recalled that India and Nigeria enjoy warm, friendly and deep-rooted bilateral relations. India, with a population of around 1.3 billion, and Nigeria over 190 million, are large developing and democratic countries with multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual societies. India as the largest democracy in the world and Nigeria as the largest in Africa, thus become natural partners. The presence of a large Indian expatriate community of about 50,000, the largest in West Africa adds value to the importance of the long-standing relationship between the two countries. In recent years, important bilateral visits have continued, and both countries have nurtured the relationship through periodic interactions and exchanges. India is the largest trading partner of Nigeria in Africa with the bilateral trade touching US$ 9.43 billion. India is the largest importer of Nigeria’s crude oil. Nigeria has emerged as the fifth largest supplier of crude oil and second largest supplier of LNG in 2018.It is encouraging to note that Indian owned/operated companies are the second largest employer in Nigeria after the Federal Republic of Nigeria. More than 135 Indian companies are currently operating in Nigeria in diverse fields such as pharmaceuticals, engineering goods, electrical machinery and equipment, plastics, chemicals, etc. Some of the major companies include Bharti Airtel, Tata, Bajaj Auto, Birla Group, Kirloskar, Mahindra, Ashok Leyland, Skipper, Godrej, Simba Group, NIIT, Aptech, New  India Assurance, Bhushan Steel, KEC, Dabur, etc,MCCI President said.Besides, Ramesh Agrawal.said,India & Nigeria have had strong cultural and people-to-people contacts which have contributed significantly towards improvement of bilateral relations. India has been a destination for Nigerian students for pursuing higher education since 1955. Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR)’s instituted scholarship programme became the main vehicle for Nigerian students to study in India since 1960s. Currently, a large number of Nigerian students are studying in various Indian universities. The Government of India launched in March 2018, ‘Study in India’ portal, which will give a further fillip to interested and deserving Nigerian students to join renowned and recognized Indian educational institutions in India, Ramesh Agrawal added.

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