Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Abhay Thakur, has said that India is proud to be Nigeria’s largest trading partner.
Thakur who spoke during India’s 73rd independence day in Abuja, disclosed that India’s trade with Nigeria grew by nearly 18 percent in 2018, amounting to a total of $14 billion.
The Indian High Commissioner further said Nigeria alone accounted for 20 percent of India’s trade with Africa.
“So, I think it is a very special day for us today to be able to celebrate this occasion with our Nigerian friends,” Thakur said.
Earlier, Thakur recalled the growing diplomatic ties between India and Nigeria, which he said, required even greater significance.
He noted the first visit by the Indian Minister of State for External Affairs immediately after the swearing-in of President Muhammadu Buhari, for the Democracy Day on the 12th of June.
Thakur added that India has had a whole range of important exchanges with West Africa, disclosing that India was looking forward to the first Joint Commission later in 2019.
He also said India was looking forward in cooperating with Nigeria in the area maritime security, as well as greater collaboration and growing trade between the two countries.
Thakur further recalled the re-elected Government of India, saying that it was a very optimistic time for India and Indians in the diaspora.
“And when I say diaspora, actually, it also very much mean our foreign partners because it is our very close relations with a number of countries, including and especially in Africa and once again, especially with Nigeria, that these occasions have greater significance.
“There are very large, thriving Indian community in Nigeria, numbering almost 50,000. They are contributing to various walks of life, they are not only doing their own business, but also employing a very large number of Nigerians,” Thakur also said.