|Indian High Commissioner|
The Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. Ajjampur Ghanashyam, said on Saturday that the bilateral trade volume between India and Nigeria is estimated at 16.36 billion dollars.
Ghanashyam, who said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja said the figure represented the trade volume during the financial year, April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015.
The High Commissioner explained that exports from India to Nigeria stood at 2.68 billion dollars while imports from Nigeria, which comprised mainly crude oil, stood at 13.68 billion dollars.
“Trade during 2013 to 2014 was 16.67 billion dollars.
“This indicates that despite a 50 per cent fall in oil prices in the second half of the 2014 calendar year, there has only been an insignificant difference over the two years in terms of trade,“ he said.
He India’s exports to Nigeria had grown gradually in the last few years, from 1.08 billion dollars in 2007 to 2.66 billion dollars in 2014.
He also said India’s Rice exports to Nigeria declined from 339 million in 2012 and 2013 to 78 million in 2014 due to increase in import duty and enhanced local production of rice.
Ghanashyam said both countries shared significant relations adding: “Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner in Africa and India is Nigeria’s largest trading partner in the world”.
The envoy said that India was also the largest importer of petroleum crude oil from Nigeria and also the largest expatriate employer of labour in Nigeria.
He said that India sought to enhance its relations with the Federal Government in the areas of agriculture, creating small and medium enterprises, power and developing innovation.
He told NAN that this would enhance job creation for both countries.
“We have to do something about the creation of employment for you and for us. We have given our priorities. The first thing that need we need to do in Nigeria is power.
“In India today, we have 350,000 megawatts of electricity and in 15 years we reached that level because of certain planning and implementation.
“We will be more than happy to help Nigeria in this area.
“Major industries like the refineries don’t create major employment; the real employment is created by agriculture and small and medium industries.
He said India was ready to share its experiences with Nigeria in the area of job and wealth creation through agriculture and small and medium scale enterprises.
“Another area we would like to take on is innovation because it helps people to come up with ideas and recreate the future,” he said.
The envoy said that there was a satisfactory level of interaction between the armed forces of the two countries, particularly in the area of training.
Ghanashyam told NAN that there was a healthy relationship in the area of education between the two nations, adding that 4,940 Nigerian students were currently studying in India.
The envoy said the two governments needed to renew the Bilateral Aviation Services Agreement existing between them.
He said the India-Africa Forum Summit which is scheduled to hold in October would develop India’s strategy for Africa and enhance the country’s relations with Africa.