There does appear some refreshing and decisive thinking on trade, investment and scientific cooperation between Nigeria and like-minded development partners to spur the local economy going forward, or so we hope.
The inkling for this notion comes from reports that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will lead a 38-member high powered team of Nigerian businessmen and industry leaders to attend the Nigeria-India Presidential Roundtable and Conference in New Delhi, India.
We hope though, that this is a well thought out, result oriented plan and not just another of those large and colourful government jamborees leading nowhere, for which our own dear native land has become world famous.
There are serious indicators for mutual co-operation and growth in this signal if the promoter, the Federal Government is indeed serious.
One reason is India’s common history of British colonization with Nigeria, its common abject economic past and its structured and deliberate economic growth over the years, which Nigeria can learn from.
Then, there is the consideration that India has accomplished much of the growth and development ideals that Nigeria mouthed over the years but did not paddle purposely towards.
India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world and is poised to continue on this path, with aspirations to reach high middle-income status by 2047, the centenary of Indian independence.
The growth of the past two decades has also led to India making remarkable progress in reducing extreme poverty. Between 2011 and 2019, the country is estimated to have halved the share of the population living in extreme poverty – below $2.15 per person per day (2017 PPP) (World Bank Poverty and Inequality Portal and Macro Poverty Outlook, Spring 2023).
The World Bank is partnering the government in this effort by helping to strengthen policies, institutions, and investments to create a better future for the country and its people through green, resilient, and inclusive development.
In 2022, India emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, despite significant challenges in the global environment – including renewed disruptions of supply lines following the rise in geopolitical tensions, the synchronized tightening of global monetary policies, and inflationary pressures.
The main products that India exports to Nigeria are Refined Petroleum ($992m), packaged medicaments ($488m), and motorcycles and cycles ($433m). During the last 26 years, the exports of India to Nigeria have increased at an annualized rate of 14.4 percent, from $145 million in 1995 to $4.75 billion in 2021.
The main products exported from Nigeria to India are crude petroleum ($8.11bn), petroleum gas ($826m), and coconuts, Brazil nuts, and cashews ($53.6m).
The Nigeria-India Economic Roundtable, which is organised by the Nigerian High Commission in India in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Nigeria-India Business Council (NIBC), is expected to be addressed by President Tinubu.
Prominent businessmen and investors in the delegation include: Africa’s richest man and chairman of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; Chairman of the Femi Otedola Foundation, Femi Otedola; Chairman/CEO of the GIG Group, Chidi Ajaere, and Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema.
Other prominent businessmen expected to attend the event include: Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu, Kola Karim, Julius Rone, Hajiya Bola Shagaya, and Folurunsho Alakija.
Others are Mohammed Indimi, Prince Arthur Eze, Chief Razak Akanni Okoya (Eleganza), Sir Emeka Offor, Cosmas Maduka, Jim Ovia, Adewale Tinubu and others.
Tinubu is also expected to be in India on a special invitation to attend the upcoming G-20 Summit in New Delhi, scheduled to hold between September 9 and 10.
All said, all eyes are on the President Bola Tinubu administration to figure out the ways and means to the actualization of Nigerian’s hopes and dreams, a pathway out of this economic sinking sand.
QUOTE: We hope though, that this is a well thought out, result oriented plan and not just another of those large and colourful government jamborees leading nowhere, for which our own dear native land has become world famous.