Nigeria, India Trade Volume Reaches $14bn
By Adedapo Adesanya
The trade volume between Nigeria and India increased to $13.9 billion (approximately $14 billion) in 2018-2019. This was disclosed by the High Commissioner of India to Nigeria, Mr Abhay Thakur.
Mr Thakur made this disclosure at the 70th anniversary of India’s Republic and 60th year of formal diplomatic relations between India and Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.
He noted that India and Nigeria had long-standing relations based on mutual respects that predate the independence of the two countries. According to him, 2019 witnessed several milestones in the cooperation between the two countries.
”We held the first-ever bilateral Consular Dialogue and the first-ever Joint Trade Committee, both co-chaired at the level of Permanent Secretaries. Our own visa norms for Nigeria was liberalised.
”We are Nigeria’s largest trading partner and Nigeria is our largest trading partner in Africa.
“Our bilateral trade turnover grew by 18.1 percent in 2018-2019 to reach $13.9 billion and has so far grown by 7.05 percent in the first eight months of 2019-2020.
“Nigeria has been the 3rd largest supplier of crude oil and 2nd largest supplier of Liquefied Natural Gas to India in the year 2019-2020.
“We signed the revised Air Service Agreement last year and are hoping that direct flights between India and Nigeria can commence this year, despite challenges in the aviation sector,” he said.
Speaking further Mr Thakur said that the 15th India-Africa CII-EXIM Business Conclave would be held in March 2020 in New Delhi, adding that the India-Nigeria Joint Commission would also be held in 2020.
On Nigeria’s part, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Zubairu Dada described the event as a double celebration in the history of the bilateral relations between the two countries.
According to him, political relations between the countries have been warm and cordial and witnessed growth and transformation since the establishment of diplomatic ties.
“Nigeria is committed to consolidating existing mutual trust, deepen cooperation in various fields, writing a glorious chapter in the Nigeria-India relationship and friendly cooperation.
“Nigeria is ready to cooperate in all MoUs and outstanding India Agreement to strengthen our bilateral relations,” he said.
Adding to Nigeria’s commitment, Mr Adeleke Mamora, Minister of State for Health, said that India had good complementary and alternative medicine practice stating that Nigeria would work with India to develop its own traditional medicine.
Mamora said that Nigeria was already talking with India to help modernise its traditional medicine based on its similarity in terms of population, diversity and diplomatic relations.
“In terms of universal health coverage, we have to take everything to give Medicare to our people, whether it is traditional or complimentary, we have to explore what is available to us.
“Nigeria has large reservoir of plant Medicare, but we need to explore it to our own benefit,” he added.