The Minister of State for External Affairs of India, Vellamvelly Muraleedharan, has said Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner in Africa.
This is even as he disclosed that Nigeria/India bilateral trade in the year 2021/2022, had risen to $14.95 billion.
He made this known at the inaugural Session of the Nigeria India Business Council, NIBC, in Abuja on 15th August.
According to him, Nigeria has always been a favourite investment destination for Indian Businesses, with India being the 2nd largest providers of employment in Nigeria.
He said, “I am aware that there are 135 Indian companies in Nigeria which are estimated to have invested over US$ 20 billion. It is also a matter of pride that companies owned by Indians or Persons of Indian Origin are reputed to be the 2nd largest providers of employment in Nigeria.
“The large and growing population of Nigeria, its talented youth, the abundance of natural resources, a democratic and business friendly Government and very strong cultural bonds between our peoples have all fuelled the rising economic engagement between both countries.
“On the Trade front, Nigeria has been India’s largest trading partner in Africa and a very valuable energy partner.”
On bilateral trade, he said, “Collaboration in trade and economic fields between 2 countries is made a lot easier when the political relationship is strong and the leadership of the countries are committed in further improving the ties.
“Bilateral trade between both countries in the year 202122 had risen substantially over the previous year to touch US$ 14.95 billion.”
To this end, he noted that the Government of India, through the EXIM Bank is financing solar power plan in Kaduna State and a Gas based power plant in Cross River, summing up to an investment of about $60 million.
His words, “I am glad that this is the case between India and Nigeria. India Nigeria relations started even before Nigerian Independence in 1960, with the establishment of our Mission in Lagos in 1958.
“In Nigeria, Government of India through EXIM Bank of India is financing a solar power plant and street lighting project in Kaduna State and a Gas based power plant in Cross Rivers State at a combined cost of nearly US$ 60 million.”