In furtherance to the long standing, multifaceted and strategic relations that coexist between Nigeria and India, both countries have agreed to expand their cooperation in notable sectors of both economies for the mutual benefit of their citizenries.
The agreement covers a wide spectrum of cooperation on economic and trade, defence security, developmental assistance and cultural cooperation.
With bilateral trade turnover of $13.9 billion in one year, India has emerged as Nigeria’s largest trading partner, with Nigeria becoming India’s largest trading partner in Africa.
In a joint communiqué released after a virtual Bilateral Meeting, GeofferyOnyeama, Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dr. S. Jaishankar, India’s Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed their strong commitment in expanding the frontiers of their bilateral ties especially in the areas of defence support, medical and maintenance services, sharing of expertise for counter-terrorism and insurgency; plus regular exchange of information and views.
On the need to strengthen cooperation on Consular matters, the two foreign ministers agreed to conclude all bilateral agreements in the field of Mutual Legal Assistance, Extradition Treaty and Transfer of Sentenced persons.
The cooperation is targeted at fast-tracking more business collaborations, medical tourism and educational related travels and exchanges between Nigeria and India.
GeofferyOnyeama, in his address, thanked the Indian government for its recent donation of medical supplies to support the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic; as he looked forward to the operationalization of direct flights between the two countries by the designated carriers approved by both countries.
Dr. Jaishankar on his part, expressed appreciation to the Nigerian government for the safe release of 44 Indian seafarers taken hostage in three separate incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
He further reiterated the country’s readiness to provide technical support in capacity building in diverse sectors of interest to Nigeria.
As large developing countries, both Nigeria and India have continued to share similar approaches and agendas on pluralism, inclusiveness, counter-terrorism and sustainable development.