One of India’s key moves ahead of the G20 Summit this weekend was to include the African Union for a possible expansion of the bloc.
Ajuri Ngelale, spokesperson of Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu, said they represent over a billion African citizens, and as the largest democracy in Africa, it is only natural that “Nigeria above any other will be eventually accepted into the G20.”
Mr Ngelale said there is massive Indian investment in the Nigerian defence sector. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today met President Tinubu, who arrived in Delhi to attend the G20 Summit.
“I have no doubt that India-Nigeria defence ties will expand. The reason is because President Bola Tinubu sees Prime Minister Modi as a great reformer, a transformational leader of India. We believe we have a lot of lessons to learn from what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has achieved,” Mr Ngelale told NDTV.
“In line with that, we are having discussions for defence deals worth over $1 billion dollars to boost the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria for achievement 40 per cent self-sufficiency with the cooperation of the Indian government,” he said.
He agreed Nigeria is interested at the LCA Tejas, and transfer of technology of drones and more advanced armoured personnel carriers.
“We believe the Indian military-defence complex is something we can partner with,” Mr Tinubu said.
On business tries, he said, “There is a saying, apart from the Nigerian government, the second-largest employers in Nigeria are Indian companies. Indians are friends. Indian business people are some of our most cherished partners,” he said.
Yesterday, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance Olawale Edun said they are full of optimism about what has been achieved so far. Mr Edun, who is also the country’s Coordinating Minister of Economy, said he thinks that India and Nigeria are charting a course for combined mutual prosperity based on economic growth.
“We are extremely happy to be here. And so far, as I said, we’re halfway through our consultations, our discussions and so forth with you and other business leaders. And we are full of optimism at what has been achieved so far,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Nigeria-India Business Conference in Delhi.