*Says closer economic cooperation mutually beneficial to Nigeria, India
The Federal Government of Nigeria and India would continue to deepen its bilateral ties in the areas of economy, infrastructure and human capital development, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, when he received the Indian delegation led by the Indian Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, His Excellency, Mr. V. Muraleedharan.
The Indian delegation was part of the dignitaries that attended the June 12 Democracy Day celebration which held earlier in the day at Eagle Square, Abuja.
The Vice President noted that Nigeria can learn a lot from India’s development trajectory over the last decades amidst its huge population.
He said, “India is a crucial strategic partner with Nigeria and we have a lot to learn from India, especially as you heard in the President’s speech; on India’s success in a democratic setting, and the results it has achieved in the last few decades, especially with such a huge population. There is absolutely no reason why Nigeria cannot do so (succeed). In order to do so, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel; one of the ways to do that is by closer economic cooperation on so many fronts, including in the area of infrastructure, enhancing the capacity of rail transportation, amongst other areas.”
In his remarks, Muraleedharan praised President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that India is Nigeria’s largest trading partner. He added that bilateral trade between both countries had increased about 20% in the last one year.
“Nigeria is very important to us (India); the new re-elected governments of both countries would surely strengthen cooperation in the next five years. Ten per cent of our crude requirements come from Nigeria and about 50,000 Indian nationals live and work in Nigeria,” he said.