Nigeria urges Indians to invest in the West African nation

CII-nigeria1India is planning to sign a Free Trade Agreement with ECOWAS. (Image source: CII)Indian investors can benefit by focusing investments in Nigeria, according to finance minister Olusegun Aganga

Aganga spoke about the Nigerian trade and investment climate during an interactive session conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi, India.

According to the minister, there is a huge potential for trade between India and Nigeria in sectors like pharmaceuticals, power, energy, agriculture, iron and steel.

In addition to having a conducive business climate, Aganga said Nigeria has the 11th largest oil reserves and eighth largest natural gas reserves in the world. The country, apart from being Africa’s largest economy, has one of the fastest growing middle-class and is perceived as a solid macro-economic environment.

Of the US$57bn trade with sub-Saharan Africa, US$17bn comes from Nigeria alone, said DS Dhesi, additional secretary of the Indian ministry of commerce and industry. Nigeria also contributes to India's energy security as India imports oil worth US$16bn from the west African nation.

With trade volume with India currently at US$19.5bn, there is an increase in the exchange of people between the two countries. More than 150 companies have already made their presence felt in Nigeria such as Skipper Electricals (India) Ltd, Tata, Airtel, ONGC Videsh Limited, NIIT and Ashok Leyland.

Though India doesn’t have an exclusive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with an African nation, Dhesi said that India is considering signing one with Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), of which Nigeria is one of the major stakeholders.

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