The trade volume between India and Nigeria hit 12 billion dollars between April 2017 to March 2018, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Nagabhushana Reddy, has said.
Reddy said this while speaking with newsmen at a flag hoisting ceremony to mark the 72nd Independence of India in Abuja on Wednesday.
Newsmen recall that the trade figures between both countries as at January 2018 was 10 billion dollars.
The high commissioner, however, said that the current figures represented a 26 per cent increase from the previous financial year.
“Looking at the bilateral relations, our financial year is from April last year to March this year. We have been able to register 12 billion dollars of bilateral trade which marks an increase of 26 per cent from the previous year.”
He reiterated that Nigeria remained one of India’s major exporter of crude oil, adding that both countries were exploring other areas of bilateral relations.
“We are looking at bringing more Indian companies here and looking at not just a buyer-seller arrangement but to do more investments.
“As of today, Indian companies have invested about 10 billion dollars and I think there are about 135 Indian companies in Nigeria.
“I can mention that Indian investments are in the field of pharmaceuticals, electrical manufacturing, assembly lines for automobiles particularly agricultural related.”
The envoy said that 2018 also marked 60 years of diplomatic relations between both countries adding that several programmes were being organised to harness various areas of cooperation.
Reddy said that the upcoming India-West Africa conclave was one of such programmes being organised to bring together chambers of commerce business people and policy makers.
“We will be inviting all the 15 West African countries at the trade ministers’ level to review existing arrangements and to see how we can harness the complementarities that exist between our two regions.
“With a number of planned events we are looking at within the year, I am very confident that we will be able to take the already existing strategic partnership that India has with Nigeria to the next high level.”
He added that the recently announced 10 guiding principles for deepening India’s engagement with Africa would foster future relations with Nigeria in line with the Federal Government’s economic growth plan.
“In November 1958, India established the diplomatic house in Lagos; that that was the beginning of our journey.
“Our prime minister has initiated the 10 guiding principles of India and our prime minister’s drive is to see that we can support your national efforts, to merge with your economic growth plan and national priorities.
“We would like to bring about a transformation in our engagement which is mutually beneficial.”
Furthermore, the envoy said that India had trained about 8000 African nationals since 2015, in various capacity building programmes with more than 500 Nigerian officials benefiting from the training opportunities.
He further reiterated the Indian Government’s commitment to stronger relations with Nigeria and Africa as a whole.