Federal government of Nigerian is aiming to expand its bilateral trade partnership with India, targeting an increase of over $11.8 billion, in a move aimed at stimulating growth in key sectors of the Nigerian economy. Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka Anite commended India for its existing investments in Nigeria during the Nigeria-India Business Council (NIBC) meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday. She highlighted the importance of the trade relationship between the two nations, noting that India is among Nigeria’s top 10 trading partners and Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner in Africa. She said “I would like to commend the efforts of both countries in concluding the sixth session of the Nigeria-India Joint Commission Meeting..
“India is among Nigeria’s top 10 trading partners, and Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner in Africa. The total bilateral trade between India and Nigeria as of 2022 stood at $14.95 billion, as against $8.81 billion during the year 2020 – 2021; this, unfortunately, dipped to $11.8 billion last year but remains a clear indication of the importance of trade relations between our two nations”. Minister Anite revealed her recent meetings with Indian pharmaceutical companies interested in entering the Nigerian market or expanding their operations. She announced the upcoming establishment of a new $10 million plant in Ogun State by one of these companies, marking a significant step towards increased local production of pharmaceuticals in Nigeria. Anite emphasised the long-standing friendly relations between Nigeria and India and credited President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s recent meeting with Indian investors at the G20 summit for securing pledges of nearly $14 billion in investments into Nigeria’s economy. She also welcomed the high-level Indian business delegation present at the NIBC meeting.
The Minister lauded the presence of approximately 150 Indian companies in Nigeria, including household names like Bharti Airtel, Tata, and Indorama. She highlighted how Nigerian-based Indian companies serve as ambassadors for doing business in Nigeria, showcasing the country’s conducive business environment. “Companies such as Bharti Airtel, Tata, Stallion Motors, Churchgate, and Indorama. I have even noticed that Nigerian-based Indian companies are some of the biggest ambassadors for doing business in our market, this is a testament to the conducive business environment that Nigeria provides for Indian companies to thrive” the Minister noted. In his address, India’s Minister of External Affairs, Dr. S. Jaishankar, underscored the importance India places on its relationship with Nigeria, calling it their largest trading partner in Africa. His visit marked the first time an Indian Foreign Affairs Minister had visited Nigeria.