By James Emejo
The President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Prince Adetokunbo Kayode has called on the federal government to renegotiate economic ties between Nigeria and India to achieve a win-win situation.
He noted that the existing 1973 trade agreement between both countries had become obsolete and needed a review for their mutual benefits going forward.
Speaking as a panelist during a web conference tagged: “India – Nigeria Business Promotion, Challenges and Opportunities – Post COVID-19”, Kayode said as much as India had benefited immensely from Nigeria in terms of medical tourism and adoption of Indian technology, the latter should also the country in its current efforts to diversify its economy from oil.
He further recalled that in his participation in Great Gujarat gathering in 2019, it was discovered that several Indian companies are rather using Indian firms in Nigeria to carry out activities in a manner that tend to undermine local legislations particularly in the area of trading in retail and distribution services.
The ACCI president added that the absence of Indian manufacturing hubs in Africa in general and Nigeria is particular as well as intrusion into local businesses bothering on retailership and distribution services needed to be addressed to strengthen ties between both countries.
In a statement issued by Head, Media and Strategy, ACCI, Mr. Gena Lubem, Kayode said:”We have enjoyed a good economic relations with India and it is estimated that $10 billion investment in the development of the Nigeria economy which are channeled into development and commercial banks.
“The COVID-19 disease pandemic has impacted negatively on the relationship between the two countries especially in one of the key areas where Nigerians travel to India, which is medical tourism.”
According to him: “Some of us attended schools that Indians were teachers. For us to move forward, we need to rejig the already existing obsolete 1973 trade agreement between Nigeria and India. In doing so, we have to bear in mind that Nigeria has several more areas that it can do business with India.
“Nigeria is ready to use Indian technology. India should also help Nigeria to diversify its economy into agriculture, mining, manufacturing amongst others.”
The Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Abbay Thakur reminded participants that Nigeria is one of India’s biggest trading partner for several years.