The Federal Government of Nigeria in Partnership with the Government of India have inaugurated a fulcrum body called the Nigeria-India Business Council(NIBC). The council is to a pivot platform for enlargement of the business relationship between the countries; especially in areas where the relationship had been absent such as technology, artificial intelligence, fintech, renewable energy, etc. The inauguration was executed by the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
The Vice President who delivered paper themed: ‘Expanding Trade and Investment Opportunities between Nigeria and India’ through the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite said: “Nigeria and India have a shared interest in successfully tackling the challenges facing the global economy such as climate change, global public health emergencies like COVID-19, and the fallout of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. There are many areas in which both countries can build an already active bilateral relationship. These include education, creative industry, the digital economy, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas and I am certain that such ties will continue to blossom.
“Both countries have dynamic business environments which provide opportunities for trade and investment in addition to our common aspiration for promoting growth and improving the welfare and material conditions of our people. Indeed I expect the NIBC will be an active vehicle to further strengthen and consolidate our relations and also serve as a platform to coordinate and facilitate investment and business interactions.
“There is also the need for emphasis on skill acquisition and capacity building, which puts large number of young people at work place as well as boost the nation’s capacity in innovation and technology and contributing to the nation’s economic growth. Similarly through entrepreneurship, India has been able to boost its export of goods and services to about $546 billion, while that of Nigeria is only at $70 billion.”
In his response, the visiting Minister of State for External Affairs, India, Shri V. Muraleedharan said the Nigerian market has been a hub for Indian businesses, proving that by stating that there are about 135 Indian companies located in Nigerian which investments in the nation is valued at $20 billion. The minister said: “It is also a matter of pride that companies owned by Indians or persons of Indian origin are reputed to be the second largest providers of employment in Nigeria. 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 fueled 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.”
The Nigerian High Commissioner to India, Ahmed Sule, commending the inauguration of the NIBC affirmed that the NIBC is a channel through which business partners can be discovered and taken advantage of. He therefore motivated all delegates to maintain the relationship between each other in order to get the most of the country’s potential.