• Says Nigeria remains strategic partner
Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Nagabushana Reddy, has disclosed that the investment of Indian companies in the various sectors of the Nigerian economy has reached about $10 billion, noting that over 135 Indian companies currently operate in the country.
Reddy, who also described Nigeria as a major strategic partner of his country both in Africa and globally, said Indian plans to take its relationship with Nigeria to a higher level, hence the shift from trading to investment and capacity building of Nigerians in various fields of human endeavors.
He spoke wednesday in Abuja at the flag-hoisting ceremony held to mark the 71st anniversary of India’s Independence.
The envoy also used the occasion to highlight the 10 guiding Principles of India’s Engagement with Africa, recently unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said: “We want to bring about a transformation in our engagement. Nigeria is the fourth largest supplier of crude oil to India and the second largest in gas supply last year. This alone cannot define our relationship, so we are looking at many Indian companies coming into Nigeria and look at not only the buyers and sellers arrangement but to do more in investment.
“I am happy to tell you that as at today, Indian companies have invested about $10 billion and there are about 135 Indian companies spread all over Nigeria.”
He disclosed that most of the companies initially started business in buying and selling but they are now investing in Nigeria.
He said his country would continue to bring Indian investors to Nigeria because of their firm belief in Nigeria, adding that Nigeria has a strong economy to withstand and come out of difficult times just as it has come out of her recent recession period.
According to Reddy, India, over the years, has achieved a lot and wants to use her experience to support African countries to develop also.
The High Commissioner stressed that India, through the launch of her 10 Guiding Principles for Engagement with Africa, would continue to support friendly African countries through investment, technology and capacity building.
“The whole emphasis on this is how India can work with the friendly African countries ,which means looking to a commitment to bringing more investment and technologies, and at the same time being guided by the aspirations and the needs of the African countries rather than anything else, and will also be without any strings attached to the whole process,” he said.
As said part of his country’s contribution towards the building of capacity of Africans is the yearly training of 8,000 Africans on various areas of human development and technology, adding that 500 Nigerians benefitted from this training last year in India.
He said the training offered is in line with Nigeria’s developmental needs and with a view to also help create employment.
Apart from the training, India has been offering concessional loans to many African countries amounting to $11 billion, “and there is a renewed commitment to offer another $10 billion”, he said.