India has partnered Nigeria in the latter’s investment drives targeted at building modular refinery projects and strengthening the nation’s Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or cooking gas cylinder manufacturing entities.

To achieve these objectives, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), which is negotiating the deal on behalf of the Federal Government, said that it had begun collaboration with the Indian Government and its relevant institutions with the aim of learning from India’s advancement in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to develop the hydro-carbon resources sector.

The Executive Secretary NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, who led a team of the agency to a meeting with the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency, BNReddy, in Abuja said that Board’s plans to engage the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), the Indian Chamber of Commerce and a host of other institutions formed part of the key discussed issues at the parley.

Wabote underscored the trade relations between India and Nigeria at the meeting, especially in the supply of crude oil and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), adding that the collaboration between the two Commonwealth countries can be deepened in the area of ICT, manufacturing and processing of hydrocarbons.

The NCDMB boss assured that the Board would continually looking for ways to expand the boundaries of Local Content practice, especially in key sectors of the economy that are linked to the oil and gas industry and have the capacity to impact positively on Nigeria’s job creation initiatives.

He pointed out that “the way India has grown its technology companies is of interest to the Board and we will like collaborate with your institutions, exchange ideas so we can replicate your achievements in our Research and Development journey.”

According to him, the discussion also focused on fostering collaboration between Nigerian manufacturing firms and their Indian counterparts to domesticate the fabrication of modular refineries.

This is even as the Board expressed optimism about attracting investors from India to establish LPG cylinder manufacturing factories in Nigeria and participate in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Parks Scheme (NOGAPS).

In his remarks, the Indian envoy noted that India had the highest rate of start-ups in the world and the feat was achieved through a programme called ‘Start-up India and promised to facilitate the Board’s engagements with the Indian institutions.

Noting that the IIT has trained many Indians and impacted their nation’s economy significantly, the High Commissioner advised the Board to engage the Indian Chamber of Commerce, which has cluster companies with specialty in ICT and R&D, an area NCDMB is eager to pursue.

The IIT, a leading university in India, has one of the most successful innovation and entrepreneurship eco-system, with over 160 startups over the last six years in various fields, including the oil and gas industry.

The institution also has ongoing relationship with major oil and gas companies including Exxon-Mobil, Shell among others.