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India And Nigeria Launch A Business Council

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In order to improve and deepen its bilateral trade and investment possibilities, Nigeria and India established the Nigeria-India Business Council, or NIBC.

Mr. V.Sharma, the president of the Nigeria-India Business Council, stated that the organization was created to encourage the growth of trade and enterprises between Nigeria and India for the benefit of both nations and to reach a 40 billion dollar trade volume soon.

“India is already conducting excellent business with this nation and will keep importing more crude and gas from it.

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The potential for trade, which currently totals 14 to 15 billion dollars, is 40 billion dollars. Please note that the shortfall is approximately 25–26 billion dollars. The opportunity is significant, said Sharma.

While inaugurating the NIBC, Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo said the countries long standing bilateral relations has been renewed with the council being in place.

Professor Osinbajo urged the Indian business community in Nigeria to expand investments into more critical sectors on the economy.

He said it would help reduce the level of unemployment in the country.

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“NIBC will be a vehicle to further strengthen and consolidate our existing bond of friendship and also serve as a platform to coordinate and facilitate business actions between the business communities of both countries. Let me identify two areas in which I will want to see even further cooperation between our two countries, this relates to entrepreneurship, and vocational training.

India has already been able to use entrepreneurship to bring its unemployment levels down to around 7 per cent while that of Nigeria is still high at about 35 percent. Similarly, through entrepreneurship, India has been able to boost its export of goods and services to about 546 billion dollars while Nigeria is only at 70 billion dollars. I feel that there is also need to put emphasis on skills acquisition and capacity building which will place large numbers of young people on the work place.

As well as boost the nation’s capacity, innovation and capacity as well as contribute to the economy”. He said.

Professor Osinbajo encouraged Indian investors to establish in Nigeria, the businesses and services that Nigerians travel to seek in their country.

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He also pledged the Government’s commitments to creating an enabling environment for Indian businesses and Investments to thrive.

“I also urge India investors to consider providing here in Nigeria some of the medical and educational services for which Nigerians travel to India. Given the scale of the demand, it easy to say that there is business sheer for such an investment.

On its part, the Federal government will render the necessary support to all inward investment, continue its efforts to improve the business environment and providing necessary incentives. Some of the incentives includes pioneer starters, rural location incentives, export expansion scheme, gas utilization as well as investment allowances”. Osinbajo added.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was represented by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite.

India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri V. Muraleedharan said Nigeria has been India’s largest trading partner in Africa and a valuable energy partner.

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He said Nigeria has always been a favourite investment destination for Indian Businesses with about 135 Indian companies in Nigeria with a 20 billion dollars investment.

“The Bilateral trade between both countries in the year 2021-22 had risen substantially over the previous year to touch US$ 14.95 billion. 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.

But there is still great potential to enhance our economic cooperation and, with the pandemic behind us, both countries must look to vigorously make up for opportunities lost during the last two years. India has always been a very reliable partner for its friends in Africa and is committed to the socio-economic development of Africa in accordance with its own development priorities.

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Your priorities are our guiding principles for economic cooperation and our assistance in this area has always been keeping in the best interest of your country. Today, the multi-sectoral, high-level business delegation from India present here is ready to collaborate in different sectors,” Muraleedharan said.

Nigeria’s Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Richard Adebayo, explained Nigeria’s effort towards the improvement of its business sector.

“We are dedicated to improving our manufacturing production capacity. To this effect we have seventeen operational special economic zones, with four more currently under construction, fourteen of these are general economic zones which support export processing long scale manufacturing warehousing, logistic services, tourism, food processing and packaging technology development. The remaining three are dedicated to oil and gas related activities”.

“The maiden of the trade mission is with the theme “Expanding Trade and Investment Opportunities between Nigeria and India,” Mr Adebayo added.

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Written by Ruth Semilore

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