Mr Abhay Thakur, the High Commissioner of India to Nigeria, said the trade volume between India and Nigeria increased to 13.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2018-2019.
Thakur said this at the 70th anniversary of India’s Republic and 60th year of formal diplomatic relations between India and Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.
He said that India and Nigeria had long standing relations based on mutual respects that predate independence of the two countries.
According to him, 2019 witness 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 per cent in 2018-2019 to reach $13.9 billion and has so far grown by 7.05 per cent 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.
Thakur said that the 15th India-Africa CII-EXIM Business Conclave would be held in March 2020 in New Delhi.
He added that the India-Nigeria Joint Commission would also be holding in 2020.
Speaking, Amb. Zubairu Dada, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, described the event as 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 the 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.
Sen. Adeleke Mamora, Minister of State for Health, said that India had good complementary and alternative medicine practice.
He said that Nigeria would work with India to develop its own traditional medicine.
Newsmen report that the event featured celebration of Indian culture in honour of the sacrifices towards ensuring that India became a free country, and that it attracted Heads of Diplomatic missions in Abuja.
It also featured Kaishiki traditional Indian dance of love and passion by the Odisi Dance Academy.