President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Mr Adetokunbo Kayode, has called for strengthening of Nigeria-India economic ties to boost the country’s economy.
Media and Strategy Officer of the chamber, Mr Gena Lubem, said in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja that Kayode made the call while delivering the Nigerian Organised Private Sector (OPS) speech in Gujarat-India global summit.
Kayode said that both countries enjoyed warm, friendly and deep-rooted bilateral relations.
According to him, Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner in Africa and number one buyer of Nigeria’s crude oil.
He said that the bilateral trade between India and Nigeria between 2017 and 2018 increased to 11.76 billion dollars during which India’s exports to Nigeria went up to 2.26 billion dollars in 2018.
Kayode added that Nigeria’s import from India was 9.5 billion dollars during the period.
“Both countries were in the forefront of international anti-colonial, non-aligned and later anti-apartheid struggles. Close collaboration on diverse global issues in international fora was therefore easy.
“There is a large Indian expatriate community in Nigeria, the largest in West Africa, underscoring our closeness and long-standing relationship.
“Moving forward from the 1983 Bilateral Trade Agreement signed between Nigeria and India, our relationship was elevated to a strategic partnership with a Joint Trade Committee (JTC) in 2017 to review bilateral trade and commercial relations.
“As part of the commitment, a Nigerian delegation is to be in New Delhi this month for the first JTC meeting.
“Critical among issues that would be resolved would be the issue of prevention of double taxation,” he said.
Kayode said that a Bilateral Air Service Agreement, BASA, was signed early January by both countries, adding that the agreement would open up direct flights between the nations.
He said that in 2016, the Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
“Today, over 135 Indian companies operate in Nigeria,” Kayode said.
He emphasised the need for India to help in the development of Nigeria’s movie industry known as Nollywood.
Kayode also expressed the readiness of Nigeria to key into India’s Responsible, Inclusive, Sustainable and Entrepreneurship (RISE) programme. (NAN)