Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Abhay Thakur said India is willing to partner Nigeria to strengthen their development cooperation and gain mutual benefits from their bilateral relations.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udoma stated that both countries could benefit from each other through cooperation in transportation, power, infrastructure and agriculture.
According to the government official, the West African nation has lots of business investment opportunities India could tap into for mutual benefits.
Nigeria – India relations have grown in the oil and gas sector, as recent reports state that India has replaced the United States as Nigeria’s largest crude importer.
India imports 400,000 barrels per day from Nigeria valued at $10 billion yearly.
In 2011, Nigeria ranked Africa’s largest oil producer overtaking Libya, and 11th largest in the world.
Nigeria is also the tenth most petroleum-rich nation and by the far the most affluent in Africa.
It is also one of the few major oil-producing nations still capable of increasing its oil output.
Nevertheless, Nigeria has a lot to learn from its trading partner in key areas including technology and human capital investment.
Last year, the South Asian nation ranked third among Top Global Innovation leaders, falling behind the United States and China respectively, in the pecking order.
In the same year, India ranked 57th out of 130 countries in the Global Technology Index. Most of its advancement is capitalised on rail and power.
“President Buhari has a vision and dream of connecting every city and town in Nigeria with standard gauge rail lines. And Nigeria would stand to benefit from India’s experience and assistance to achieve the goal in the rail sector. This is an area we will like to collaborate with India to see how we can tap from their experience,” Mr Udoma said.
The Buhari administration addressed the need to explore potential in areas of transportation and power infrastructure not only to build its economic prowess in West African but also lure more foreign direct investments.
The huge infrastructure gap in the country has played a role in economic stagnation, as it is key in attracting businesses.
Mr Udoma is adamant Nigeria’s election period will not affect the level of doing business in the country and deter economic growth.