Michael Olugbode in Abuja
Nigeria and India have made commitments toward scaling up economic ties to enhance investments in the Nigerian economy and create jobs for the teeming youths the country.
Both countries made the commitments yesterday at the commemoration of the 73rd Republic Day of India hosted by the Indian High Commission in Abuja.
Speaking at the event, the acting Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mr. Emeka Offor, said the NIPC is leveraging on the strategic partnership between Nigeria and India to diversify the economy, create more jobs and wealth.
He said: “India is of strategic importance to Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission, and indeed Nigeria, as a result of the similarities we share together as countries in terms of socio-economic development.
“We went through a diligent process to identify 20 countries that we consider to be of strategic importance to the Nigerian economic development, and India is one of the countries that we identified.
“Based on that, NIPC will now begin to deepen relationships with those countries, especially India, for the purpose of developing an investment promotion arrangement with them, so that we can attract investors from India to Nigeria, and if Nigeria also wants to invest in India, they should be free to do so.”
Offor added: “That is why we want to deepen that relationship, but our focus is mainly on attracting investments from India to Nigeria to create jobs, to create wealth, and develop the investment landscape in Nigeria.”
He also stated that taking cognizance of Nigeria’s quest to diversify the economy and reduce total reliance on oil, NIPC is consulting with India on developing the ICT sector.
Offor said: “Following the pandemic, ICT was one of the sectors that did very well, and we regard them as winner because a lot of things can be done using the technology.
“So that is why we see a lot of tractions in areas like ICT, e-commerce, health- tech, among others.”
In his remark, the Indian acting High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Velagaleti Surendra, said Nigeria remains India’s most strategic partner in Africa, and that India is ready to support Nigeria in growing its economy.
Surendra said India was also working on diversifying its investments in renewable energy exploring new areas to diversify its investments in Nigeria.
He added that the high commission also invited the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission and the private sector to the event considering how key they are to diversifying Nigeria’s economy.
He said: “One potential area we see is in renewable energy because there is a lot of interest in Nigeria in solar energy; setting up of solar plants, and even in the agriculture sector.”