Team Blitz India
NEW DELHI: India and Nigeria share a robust, enduring, and amicable bilateral relationship. This alliance was established as India opened its Diplomatic House in Lagos back in November 1958, a full two years before Nigeria celebrated its independence on October 1, 1960.
Today, this partnership thrives, with India holding the distinction of being Nigeria’s largest trading partner in Africa, and vice versa. A testament to the strength of this economic bond is the remarkable increase in bilateral trade, which shot up to USD 15 billion during 2021-2022, marking a substantial 69.80 per cent surge. This achievement is even more remarkable when considering India’s decreased crude oil imports due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The surge in bilateral trade is exponential, it climbed from USD 8.8 billion in 2020-21 to USD 14.95 billion in 2021-22. India’s appetite for Nigerian crude oil remains insatiable, Nigeria has emerged as one of the leading suppliers of crude oil and LNG to India, ranking fourth in 2020.
Nigeria sees India as an attractive investment destination. Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows from Nigeria to India scaled up approximately USD 14.50 million from April 2000 to June 2019.
These investments span across sectors such as construction, textiles, hotel and tourism, and pharmaceuticals. Given the extensive investment opportunities, initiatives like Make in India, Ease of Doing Business, Start-up India, and a liberal FDI regime have positioned both nations for further collaboration. It’s essential to reiterate that India and Nigeria continue to be each other’s paramount trading partners in Africa.
A significant historical backdrop enriches this relationship, as a whole generation of Nigerians from the Northern and Eastern regions were educated by Indian teachers, received healthcare from Indian doctors, and embraced Indian culture, from clothing to cinema, during the 1970s to the 1990s. This endearing legacy has earned Indians a special place in the hearts of Nigerians and resonates deeply in their interactions with both government and civil society.
Further enhancing the multifaceted India-Nigeria connection is the presence of a substantial Indian expatriate community, numbering around 50,000, the largest in West Africa.