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Nigeria, India trade volume hits $14bn in 2021 Q1

India’s volume of bilateral trade with Nigeria has reached $14 billion in the first quarter of this year, representing about a 17 per cent increase…

India’s volume of bilateral trade with Nigeria has reached $14 billion in the first quarter of this year, representing about a 17 per cent increase from the same period in 2020.

Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Abhay Thakur, disclosed this on Sunday during the celebration of the country’s 75th Independence Day in Abuja.

The envoy said though the bilateral trade witnessed disruptions in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which ravaged the global economy, the trade is back on track and even witnessing steady progress.

“The current trade volume is nearly $14 billion. I’m very happy to report that in the first quarter of this year, our trade has increased by nearly 17 per cent, compared to the first quarter of 2020. There were some disruptions due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the bilateral trade is back on track and even higher than what it was in the previous year,” he said.

Last month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that India was the largest export market for Nigeria in the first quarter of 2021 with a net worth of N488.1 billion.

In a Commodity Price Indices and Terms of Trade (Q1 2021) report published on its website, NBS said Nigeria’s export trade to India accounted for 16.8 per cent of its total exports.

The bureau said the largest export commodity to India was petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude valued at N462.12 billion followed by liquefied natural gas, cashew nuts in shell, leather further prepared after tanning, and coconut.

On the other hand, Nigeria imported motorcycles and cycles valued at N86.67 billion, followed by parts of machinery for working rubber valued at N67.81 billion, other antibiotics valued at N45.32 billion among others during the period under review.

Speaking on the ties between both countries, the Indian envoy said, “India has achieved a lot in terms of its relationship with Nigeria. Our relations predate each other’s independence and have become major trading partners.

“We are also supporting each other on the multilateral fora on issues of global concerns especially counter-terrorism and economic growth of countries around the world.

“We have had some very important visits of Nigerian defence and security establishments to India over the last two years. We are working together to combat terrorism.”

In a speech on the country’s 75th Independence Day, Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, said his administration would launch a major infrastructure plan to boost the economy and aim at 100 per cent coverage of development schemes.

A 100 trillion rupees ($1.35 trillion) national infrastructure plan called “Gati Shakti” to boost manufacturing and employment will be launched, he said.

“From free cooking gas to health insurance schemes, the poor of the nation know the strength of the government schemes. These schemes have expanded rapidly in recent times, but now we have to move toward saturation.

“One hundred per cent of villages should have roads, 100 per cent of households should have a bank account, while 100 per cent of eligible persons should get insurance, pension and housing schemes. We have to operate on a cent-per-cent mode.”

“All manufacturers should target the global market. India should become the hub of the global market,” he added.