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Nigerian commerce minister to visit India

india Updated: Aug 03, 2009 10:52 IST
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Nigeria's Commerce Minister Chief Achike Udenwa will lead a delegation to India in September in a bid to strengthen economic ties and encourage investment in diverse areas of the West African country's economy.

Udenwa tied his upcoming visit to new expectations by Nigeria in terms of commerce and trade with India.

"Today the face of commerce is changing and Nigeria is also changing her priorities on what we really expect from India. We are expecting the importation to Nigeria of mainly capital goods and not just the usual consumable," he told the visiting members of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) during a reception organised by High Commissioner of India to Nigeria Mahesh Sachdev in Lagos.

According to him, the current need is to have more of Nigerian non-oil exports going into India.

"I am sure with this type of development, Nigeria and India will strengthen their already very good relationship. I remember when we did the indigenization decree in 1972 to 1976 there were quite a lot of Indian products in Nigeria and that changed from just trading to the establishment of cottage industry," he said adding that the Indian business community should continue investing in diverse area like manufacturing and also move into solid minerals.

He explained that gold, copper, phosphate; limestones and variety of solid minerals are available in some parts of Nigeria for investors to put their expertise in.

He also encouraged the investors to take advantage of the agricultural sector where the climatic conditions will be amenable to their endeavours pointing out that the two countries have many food crops in common which would make it easier for investment in the sector.

The high-powered CII delegation brought together business and industry CEOs delegation to Nigeria and held their India-Africa Conclave, which will continue till August 4.

CII is an influential industry organisation that has been committed to development of trade and investment relationships with Africa.