First Indian PM in Nigeria after Nehru | world | Hindustan Times
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First Indian PM in Nigeria after Nehru

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh arrived in Abuja on Sunday afternoon on the first leg of his two-nation trip to the African continent, reports Pankaj Vohra.

world Updated: Oct 15, 2007 01:14 IST
Pankaj Vohra

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh arrived in Abuja on Sunday afternoon on the first leg of his two-nation trip to the African continent. Dr Singh is the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962 to visit Nigeria on a bilateral visit.

The visit has assumed great significance since it will help broadbase ties between the two countries. Nigeria is India’s biggest trading partner in the African continent.

The Prime Minister got a warm welcome from dancers dressed in traditional attire and was received by Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekew.

Singh is accompanied by his wife, Gursharan Kaur, and two ministers of state — Dr T Subbarami Reddy and Anand Sharma.

During his two-day stay in Nigeria, the Prime Minister will hold talks with Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua. The talks are likely to result in the Abuja declaration for further diversification of bilateral ties on Monday.

Dr Singh is also scheduled to address the joint session of the National Assembly on Monday.

An agreement regarding regular foreign office consultations between New Delhi and Abuja, as well as an MoU between the foreign service institute of India and its Nigerian counterpart are likely to follow.

The PM is also accompanied by National Security Adviser MK Narayanan, Defence Secretary Vijay Singh, Petroleum Secretary MSSriniwasan, Commerce Secretary GK Pillai and Secretary West, Nalin Suri. Some agreements in the Defence, Commerce and Petroleum sector are also likely to be worked out.

Dr Singh also received a warm welcome from the Indian community at his hotel here in the evening. He is scheduled to leave for South Africa to attend the IBSA summit on Wednesday.