By Vera Samuel Anyagafu & Prisca Sam-Duru

Head of Chancery, Indian High Commission, Lagos, V.D. Choudhary has said that, although Nigeria’s democracy has matured since independence in 1960 just like that of India in 1947, the country needs to learn from other countries to better her democracy.

Choudhary gave the statement while commemorating India’s 69th anniversary and 70th Independence in Lagos.

Comparing India and Nigeria’s democracy he explained that, “Nigeria got independence in 1960 and India got independence in 1947. So there is time difference.

We have had more opportunities of time to learn about democracy; we have developed democracy, learnt through the passage of time and similarly, our dear great country Nigeria is learning and has learnt during this passage of time. Its democracy has matured which was evident in the last election and there are so many local fora which we have that democracy is quite evident in our political system.

India is also learning from other countries, Nigeria has to learn from other countries too. India has to also learn something that we don’t have from Nigeria, it is both ways.”

Every 15th of August is a memorable day for Indians across the globe. For this race geographically positioned in Asia, this day presents an opportunity to reflect on how far they have gone in terms of development since independence, how to forge a better future as well as honour the country’s martyrs and freedom fighters.

Joined by Indian citizens across the globe as they celebrated amidst glamour and fun fare, Choudhary, while explaining the essence of the celebration, said “This is our 69th anniversary and 70th Independence, it is a day we remember our martyrs, freedom fighters and we reminisce on their values and also think about how to forge ahead in the future.”

In terms of development in the last 69 years, Choudhary said “ In 1947 we got independence, then we did not have free saying, no government, we were not free. So when we got freedom, we have our own say, our own government, we’ve developed our democracy during this period and we are trying our best to develop our economy internally and also through collaboration with other countries.

Today, India is the fastest growing measured economy recognised by so many international agencies. We have great economic and political outlook at least in the future.”

Asked to rate his Embassy’s performance here in Nigeria, in terms of trade and business relationships, Choudhary said, “I have witnessed many Indian exhibitions, the latest was in August 2015, the Automotive exhibition here in Eko Hotel which was a huge success, then we have had our exhibition by Confederation of Indian industries also in August 2015 and we have also held exhibitions here in our Indian High Commission, that is Indian Products and Services Exhibition and so many Nigerians participated.

It was a good occasion to develop bi-lateral relationship between the two countries, economically and also otherwise. We believe that as things are, we will boost our relationship further.

We are already strengthening our relationship with the whole of Africa, last time we had Indian African Summit, IAFS, and 54 African countries participated there, we had very fruitful and successful deliberations and it was a wonderful event.”

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