BY: Victoria Ojeme
The Federal government yesterday said it has identified India and other 19 countries that its consider to be of strategic importance to Nigerian economic development
Mr Emeka Offor, Acting Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) said that the NIPC is leveraging on the strategic partnership between Nigeria and India to diversify the economy, create more jobs and wealth.
Mr Offor made this known during the commemoration of the 73rd Republic Day of India hosted by the Indian High Commission in Abuja.
“India is of strategic importance to Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission and indeed Nigeria, as a result of the similarities we share together as countries in terms of socio-economic development.
“We went through a diligent process to identify 20 countries that we consider to be of strategic importance to Nigerian economic development and India is one of the 20 countries that we identified.
“Based on that, NIPC will now begin to deepen relationships with those countries, especially India for the purpose of developing an investment promotion arrangement with them.
“So that we can attract investors from India into Nigeria and if Nigeria also wants to invest in India, they should be free to do that.
“That is why we want to deepen that relationship but our focus is mainly on attracting investments from India to Nigeria to create jobs, to create wealth, develop the investment landscape in Nigeria,” Offor said.
Offor said that taking cognizance of Nigeria’s quest to diversify the economy and reduce total reliance on oil, NIPC is consulting with India on developing the ICT sector.
“Following the pandemic, ICT was one of the sectors that did very well and we regard them as winner because a lot of things can be done using technology.
“So that is why we see a lot of tractions in areas like ICT, e-commerce, health- tech, amongst others.
“We are leveraging on the relationship we have with India to attract as much tractions to Nigeria’s ICT space from India,” Offor said.
Mr Velagaleti Surendra, India’s Acting High Commissioner to Nigeria said that Nigeria remains India’s most strategic partner in Africa and India is ready to support Nigeria in growing its economy.
Surendra said that India is also working on diversifying its investments in renewable energy exploring new areas to diversify its investments in Nigeria
He added that the High Commission also invited the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission and the private sector to the event considering how key they are to diversifying Nigeria’s economy.
“One potential area we see is in renewable energy because there is a lot of interest in Nigeria in solar energy, setting up of solar plants and even in the agricultural sector.
“We see that renewable energy is a major growth opportunity for both countries and of course in areas of health, setting up of hospitals, in education, setting up for institutes of educations, learning centers.
“So the opportunities are endless and we hope to see much collaborations between both countries.
“Nigeria is the largest trading partner of India in African Region, Nigeria is one of the most important energy partners for us, and Indian investments are strong in Nigeria.
“We have more than 135 companies in various sectors, Pharmaceuticals, power, vehicles and lots more.
“We see that there are potentials for more collaborations between the two countries because Indian industries are here to be part of your growth story.