By Vera Samuel Anyagafu & Prisca Sam-Duru
The visit of India Vice President, Honourable Shri Hamid Ansari, to Nigeria indicates the warm diplomatic ties both countries share, as he held several key bilateral talks with President Mohammadu Buhari to move both counties’ economies forward.
Declaring his country’s commitment to this, Ansari, who is also expected to visit Mali for the first ever high-level bilateral talks with the leadership, stated that both India and Nigeria will forever remain friends, saying that his visit to Nigeria is to further strengthen the strategic partnership between India and Nigeria.
He said his visit would equally ensure expansion and diversification of the bilateral economic engagement between India and Nigeria and explore new avenues of partnerships on a wide range of issues of shared common interest.
He went further to state that India today underscore the need to synergise its growth strategies with Nigeria in the backdrop of the current global financial situation, and that the economic cooperation occupies a prominent position in the bilateral matrix.
According to him, India and Nigeria are well placed to convert every challenge to an opportunity, emphasising that infrastructural development and energy security are key areas for cooperation for emerging economies like India and Nigeria.
“These sectors allow for both our countries to collaborate and benefit from each other’s expertise. Infrastructure stimulation programmes launched by the government of India, like the mission to develop 100 smart cities, upgrade infrastructure development in urban and rural areas and enhance nationwide connectivity through the ‘Digital India’ programme, have created massive opportunities for foreign partners in the Indian economy,” Ansari said.
He added that, “We are extremely happy to see the initiatives which Nigeria has launched under the sagacious leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Vice President Shri Hamid Ansari was accompanied by his wife Salma Ansari, Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal and MPs Bhubaneshwar Kalita, Dilip Kumar Tirkey and Mohammad Salim.