The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, has said President Bola Tinubu’s ‘unwavering commitment’ to ensuring Nigeria’s industrialization will help the country’s team in the ongoing G-20 summit in India attract Foreign Direct Investment into the country.
Uzoka-Anite stated this in a statement issued on Friday by her Spokesman, Oladapo Sofowora.
She disclosed that Tinubu after his arrival in India on Tuesday, went into a meeting with Billionaire investor, Mr Prakash Hinduja to seek partnership on investing Billions of Dollars into the Nigerian economy.
Hinduja is the Chairman and CEO of the Hinduja Group of Companies.
According to the minister, the Nigerian-Indian bilateral relationship dates back over 7 decades with the two countries maintaining cordial relationships in trade investment and technology exchange.
“Since that historic September 1962 visit, hosted by Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, the first (and only) PM of Nigeria, in Lagos, Nigerian and Indian leaders presided over a bilateral relationship that has grown in leaps and bounds. In my time here in India, I have seen how much of a thing of pride these feats have been for the Indian people. Successes of this nature are especially significant because they rekindle national hope and optimism, and fuel the collective ambition to achieve even more” Uzoka-Anite said.
She further stated that her first international engagement as Nigeria’s new minister of industry, trade and investment in India has broadened her horizon on how India ticked, the powering forces behind ‘Incredible India’, and how Nigeria can learn from India’s digital enumeration of all citizens, development of an ICT sector that is a global powerhouse, and the fight against poverty.
She further highlighted the models used by Prime Minister Modi in lifting 135 million Indians out of poverty in five years.
She said: “Our trip here has so far been fruitful and Nigerians should be proud of our achievement here. We signed an agreement on Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria Limited (InfraCorp) and Invest India. We also signed another agreement between the Nigerian Ministry of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy and the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. We have also secured investment commitments from multinationals like; SkipperSeil Group, Jindal Steel and Power Limited, Bharti Enterprises, Indorama Petrochemical Limited amounting to several billions of dollars.”
Speaking on her bilateral meeting with the Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, Uzoka-Anite Doris further disclosed that it provided yet another opportunity for them to discuss how Nigeria and India can improve trade and investment relations as she also wooed various Indian entrepreneurs who are already doing business in Nigeria.
“I am struck by their love and passion for Nigeria, and how proud they are to be seen as champions of the investment potential of Nigeria.
“We have more than 130 Indian companies that are active in Nigeria from manufacturing to hospitality to oil and gas, and healthcare sector. Our work is made much easier with these enthusiastic promoters of Nigeria and its immense opportunities. I have felt very much at home here in India. Anyone who knows both countries will be aware of just how much we have in common: our colonial heritage, fast-growing, multilingual, multi-religious populations, the success stories of our young people, especially in ICT, and our teeming diasporas.”
The minister also revealed that ratification of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and India, which allows Air Peace to fly twice weekly between Lagos and Mumbai, in April 2023 has opened more opportunities for exchange between the two countries.
She however noted that Nigeria needs to fastrack the signing of Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA), and Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECA), with India.
“Joining the G20, as Africa’s largest economy and most populous country, will no doubt position Nigeria to benefit from even more favourable trade and economic ties with India and other leading world economies.
“This visit will mark the beginning of a new vista for Nigeria-India relations, under the leadership of President Tinubu and PM Modi. There are indeed no limits to what we can achieve, for the mutual benefit of Nigerians. We are surely on the path of prosperity”, the minister added.