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Nigeria, India partner on solid minerals exploration


India has promised to woo its investors to explore the country’s mineral deposits as part of efforts to promote the cordial relations between the two nations.

India also said that it would ensure even-spread of investments between the two countries.

Nagabhushana Reddy, India’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, stated this during an ambassadorial briefing, tagged: ‘India-Nigeria Relations on the Eve of 60 Years of Diplomatic Engagement and 10 Principles of India-Africa Engagement Enunciated by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi,’ in Lagos earlier in the week.

Reddy, who said that India’s presence in mineral extraction in Nigeria was very minimal, added that the country was in consultation with the Federal Government, particularly with the Ministry of Mining, to see how its mining companies could gain entry into this area.

He noted that Nigeria was rich in solid minerals and there was a significantly new effort made in inviting the foreign partners to come and explore the mining sector.

While disclosing that very soon, the Nigerian Solid Minerals Week would hold in Abuja, the High Commissioner said that Indian companies were encouraged to participate in the event so as to have a better understanding of the potential and eventually begin to come and invest in exploration of these mineral deposits.

He noted that “India is also working with the Ministry of Science and Technology, particularly Nigerian Space Agency (NASDAR), with a view to looking at how effectively the remote-sensing technology can be used in this area.”

Using remote-sensing technology, which is satellite-driven, in the identification of solid minerals, he said, has benefitted India a lot because it manufactures an entire cycle of space- programme related components.

In this connection, Reddy noted, that one area where the two countries could work together was to look at remote-sensing technology, where the national efforts in identifying these resources, become more accurate and much more reliable in terms of data.

Reddy listed the 10 areas of engagement between the two countries as business, medical, education, cultural, agriculture, defence, diplomatic, energy, development and people-to-people connect.

The High Commissioner, who noted that India had offered space training programmes, expressed optimism that the way forward for progress of the relationship between the two countries was by promoting more industries in Nigeria, adding that the two countries’ bilateral trade was largely in favour of Nigeria.

On India’s contribution towards Nigeria’s economic recovery and growth plan, Reddy noted that it was a very comprehensive and timely plan, which requires the collaboration of the two countries.

He said that India was the fastest growing economy in the world, with a strong industrial base and developing leadership in science and technology, adding that the two countries have a common understanding in the development issues.