Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said on Wednesday that the federal government of Nigeria and India will continue to deepen their bilateral ties in the sectors of the economy, infrastructure and human capital development.
Prof. Osinbajo declared it to the presidential village, Abuja, when he received the Indian delegation led by India’s Minister of State for Foreign and Parliamentary Affairs, His Excellency, Mr. V. Muraleedharan.
The delegation from India, according to a statement by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant for media and advertising, was among the dignitaries who participated in the celebration of Democracy Day on June 12, which was held first in Eagle Square, Abuja. .
The vice president stressed that Nigeria can learn a lot from the development trajectory of India in the last few decades amid its huge population.
He said, “India is a crucial strategic partner with Nigeria and we have a lot to learn from India, especially as you heard in the President’s speech; on India’s success in a democratic setting, and the results it has achieved in the last few decades, especially with such a huge population.
“There is absolutely no reason why Nigeria cannot do so (succeed). In order to do so, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel; one of the ways to do that is by closer economic cooperation on so many fronts, including in the area of infrastructure, enhancing the capacity of rail transportation, amongst other areas.” he said
In his remarks, Muraleedharan praised President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that India is Nigeria’s largest trading partner.
He added that bilateral trade between both countries had increased by about 20% in the last one year.
“Nigeria is very important to us (India); the new re-elected governments of both countries would surely strengthen cooperation in the next five years.
Ten per cent of our crude requirements come from Nigeria and about 50,000 Indian nationals live and work in Nigeria,” he said.