Abuja, Jan. 27, 2024: The Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gangadharan Balasubramanian, says about 150 Indian companies have invested more than $27 billion in Nigeria in the last four decades of diplomatic India-Nigeria diplomatic relations.
Balasubramanian disclosed this in his address at the anniversary celebration of the 75th Republic Day of India, organised by the Indian mission on Friday night in Abuja.
He described relations between India and Nigeria as excellent, saying India will continue to play significant role and contribute to the global commons, adding the recently concluded Indian Presidency of G20 showcased such role effectively.
According to him, India stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Nigerian friends in the joint journey towards development and the Government of India is committed to further strengthening such ties.
Balasubramanian Said, “India and Nigeria enjoy strong and historical relations. With the ties dating back to before Nigeria’s independence, our bilateral relations have been nurtured by the leadership of both the countries.
“Our economic and trade relations are strong and growing. Currently nearly 150 Indian companies with an investment of 27 billion dollars are in Nigeria, mainly in the manufacturing sector and employ the largest number of people after the Federal Government.
“Owing to the special relationship, India had invited Nigeria as a Guest Country during her presidency of G20. We had a memorable visit of President Bola Tinubu to the G20 Summit in September, 2023 that consolidated the ties further.
“Out of the 14 billion dollars promised during this visit as investment into Nigerian economy, 7 billion dollars has already been signed immediately after the visit.”
He reiterated his country’s commitment to deepen the India-Nigeria ties in terms of the recent visit by India External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyan Jaishankar for the Joint Commission meeting held in Nigeria.
Also through the minister’s interaction with the leadership and business community in Nigeria and the Indian Diaspora.
The envoy attributed progress made by his country to the working of his country’s Constitution adopted in 1950, saying from the end of the last century till now, India has become one of the faster growing emerging economies.
“Today with more that 3.7 trillion dollars GDP, her economy is the fifth largest in the world. Education, health and economy have been consistent targets of successive governments in India resulting in all round improvement of standard of living of Indian citizens.
“We run one of the world’s largest health insurance schemes, made education a fundamental right, continue with the biggest welfare initiative in providing food grains to significant percentage of Indian citizens, increased the paying capacity of the people and provided equal opportunities to all.
“We have drawn up schemes to uplift the vulnerable and on gender equality, passed legislation providing 33per cent reservation for women in parliament, to name a few.
“Starting from 1964, we have been providing scholarship for a large number of short-term courses under the Indian Technical and Economic Partnership to people around the world.
“We have become significant development partner through Lines of Credit and Grants-in-Aid to the global south, which today stands at 39 billion dollars, which includes more than 12 billion dollars to Africa,” he added.
Also speaking, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. YuSuf Tuggar, represented by Amb. Alex Kefas, Director of Europe and Regions in the ministry, said Nigeria-India cordial and friendly relations dates back to 1958.
According to him, the bond between the two countries is deep and can be characterized by historical and cultural connections strengthened through our shared struggle for independence, which formed basis for their partnership.
“The state of Nigeria-India economic relations has seen remarkable improvement in recent years. Trade volume between the two countries has increased significantly.
“India is now Nigeria’s largest trading partner in Africa and the highest importer of Nigeria’sCrude Ol. Similarly, Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner in A fica.
“Bilateral trade between both countries in the last two years amounted to approximately 14.95 billion dollars in the formal sector and about USD 5 billion in the informal sector,” Tuggar said.
He said Nigeria will continue to open its door for collaboration with India as pathway to advance cordial relationship and between both countries.
The event attracted Gov. Uba Sani of Kaduna State, Mrs Hannania Musawa, Minister of art, culture and creative economy Dr Jamila Ibrahim, Minister of Youth Development, Mrs Pauline Tallen, former Minister of women affairs and diplomats among others.