Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Nigeria and India to strengthen co-operation

During a meeting in New Delhi between Nigeria's Foreign Affairs Minister Henry Odien Ajumogobia and India's Oil Minister S. Jaipal Reddy the two countries agreed to strengthen co-operation in energy and financial services sectors.

Speaking after the meeting Reddy said: "India is interested in tying up LNG imports from Nigeria immediately, as the country's requirement of LNG is projected to go up by 12 to 15 million tonnes a year in the foreseeable future."

Ajumogobia said Nigeria was in the process of “massive reforms” in “banking, finance and oil and gas sectors” and was keen to attract foreign investment, especially from “Indian companies”. He added that all the reforms to “oil and natural gas sectors will be complete by May” noting that “Nigerian economy can grow at double-digits once the power deficit is fixed.”

In turn, Reddy offered technical assistance from India's state-run oil companies to their Nigerian counterparts in areas of refining, pipelines, marketing, research and development.

The two ministers also discussed Indian's role in Nigeria's petrochemical and city gas projects, and its participation in the Nigerian gas master plan, for which a proposal had been submitted to the authorities. According to statistics, India's trade with Nigeria grew over 50 per cent during the first half of this fiscal year, with the two-way merchandise import and export trade crossing the $12 billion mark. Indian investments in Nigeria have also risen to an estimated $5 billion.

Sources: WSJ, Economic Times, Sify

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

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