The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola has called for stronger collaborations with the Government of India, remarking that stronger ties with India who is renowned for its rich maritime heritage in the ports and shipping industry will boost investments that abound in the blue economy domain.
While speaking at the India Trade Mission to Nigeria/Nigeria- India Business Forum, Nigeria-India Business Council (NIBC), with the theme: Expanding Trade & Investment Opportunities Between Nigeria and India held in Abuja, Oyetola spoke with optimism on immeasurable gains that will be derived from this forum.
“I am particularly glad that this forum has brought Nigeria and India together to collaborate and strategically plan on exploring investment opportunities in both countries. I am optimistic that this forum will further strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries thereby increasing foreign direct investment, facilitate capacity/technology transfer and foster sustainable business partnerships between the government and private sectors of both countries”, Oyetola opined.
According to the Marine and Blue Economy Minister, the business forum could not have come at a better time as the Federal Government is poised to harnessing the potentials of the blue economy through public private partnership.
Speaking further, Oyetola stated that the Marine and Blue Economy Ministry expects to develop from this forum, closer economic cooperation in the areas of enhancing port infrastructure/operation in the construction of deep-sea ports and ship repair yards; promotion of blue economy investments through the creation of residential/ancillary facilities at the ports; development of tourism facilities; creation of export processing terminals for agro exports; and provision of inland waterways passenger transport and tourist cruise services; amongst other areas.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, in her remarks, stated that “today’s forum is a testament to the progress made upon the foundations laid by H.E President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR during the Presidential Roundtable held in New Delhi, India, on the sidelines of the G20 Summit. That pivotal meeting saw Indian investors pledge an impressive total of almost $14 billion worth of investment into Nigeria’s economy.”
“I would like to commend the efforts of both countries in concluding the sixth session of the Nigeria-India Joint Commission Meeting held on Monday, 22 January, 2024”, the Minister pointed out.
The Industry, Trade and Investment Minister while speaking further, disclosed that Nigeria is home to approximately 150 Indian Companies, many of which are strong household names in the country. While pointing out that Nigeria has embraced Companies such as Bharti Airtel, Tata, Stallion Motors, Churchgate, and Indorama as part of the Indian Companies operating in Nigeria.
Speaking also at the event, the Minister of External Affairs, Republic of India, Dr. S. Jaishankar, spoke on the essence of government, stating that it is the primary responsibility of any government to improve the enabling environment, look at the challenges, place such on the table for discussions and approach identified challenges with practical and constructive solutions.
The Minister speaking further, assured the Nigeria business community that India can be the support and fulcrum for Nigeria in aspects of sharing technology, digital public infrastructure, agricultural sustainability, security and the blue economy.
The proof of our commitment to fostering of ties and cooperation with Nigeria, Jaishankar stated, is indicative in the 200 development projects of the Indian government across Nigeria. He added that India extends its hands of alliance to Nigeria and Africa.
Jaishankar also spoke of the honour of meeting with the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, noting that such relationships will build more linkages that will foster relationships between both countries.
Director, Press & P.R