FG extols Nigeria-India relations to drive technology devt. in Africa




Dr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, says Nigeria-India relations is strategic to drive technology development in Africa.

Pantami said this in his address at the maiden “India-Nigeria business forum organised by the Indian High Commission on Monday in Abuja.

According to him, the forum is very strategic, especially when looking at areas toward ease of business that is being discussed.

Pantami said: “I commend Indian High Commission for what they are doing in Nigeria; I am so passionate about the achievements and successes recorded by Indian government on digital economy and ICT.

“What the country is doing in the area of digital economy is quite encouraging, from the time I visited India, I have been reviewing what India has been doing in area of ICT.

“We have also benefitted from India in area of capacity building, many young innovators from Nigeria’s public and private sectors have been trained on a six-week professional programme.

“This is also highly commendable, as we have achieved a lot in that area.

“The relationship between Indian High Commission and our ministry has been very cordial; whatever we need from India when we knock at the door, the commission opens and provides for us,” he said.

Also Speaking at the event, Mr Velagaleti Surendra, Deputy High Commissioner of India to Nigeria, described India and Nigeria as large and economically prosperous.

According to him, there is interest by Nigeria in what is happening in India, because what Nigerians see in India is hope, saying if India can achieve anything, Nigeria also can.

“India is concentrating on creation of enabling environment for it citizens, basically through digital economy and to encourage its young population to be more self reliant.

“India’s success so far recorded in Nigeria has been on serious investment; our major success has been in terms of bilateral trade between both countries.

“What India brings into Nigeria relations is seriously technology sharing and capacity building; we have HITEC-programme for training of professionals on technologies in India every year,” Surendra said.

In her remarks, Dr Olufolake Abdulrazaq, Director, Economic, Consular and Legal Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, commended the trade relations between the two countries to mark deviation from the past.

Abdulrazaq, also First Lady of Kwara,  was represented by Mr Ochi Oliver, Senior Counsellor in the Ministry.

According to her, as trade relations continue to grow between our countries, we must explore economic sectors for investments and look forward to Indian companies working with Nigerian companies to promote exports.

“Nigeria is at present India’s largest trading partner in Africa with bilateral trade reaching $13.89 billion in 2018/2019, as against $11.76billion recorded during the year 2017/2018.

“This is clear improvement in volume of trade within the years compared: with this business forum, I am optimistic that our bilateral relations will continue to grow in leaps and bounds.

She described the forum as apt, since President Muhammadu Buhari resolved to ensure industries and businesses thrived through well thought out policies that promoted economic activities in the country.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the high point of the event was power point presentations on India-Nigeria business cooperation, aviation, ICT, defence and security, as well as renewable energy.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi

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