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India and Nigeria Renew Bilateral Relationship at Meeting Chaired by Dr. S. Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar, during his visit to Nigeria, chaired the sixth India-Nigeria Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) on January 22, 2024, Monday, where he engaged in discussions with his counterpart Yusuf Tuggar. The meeting saw the exploration of new avenues for cooperation across various sectors, highlighting the commitment to strengthening the longstanding and friendly ties between the two nations. Dr. Jaishankar took to social media to share the outcomes of the meeting, noting the expansion of economic cooperation, particularly in trade and investment. The discussions extended to exploring opportunities in energy, power, renewables, transport, healthcare, fintech, agriculture, and security.

In a joint statement, both ministers expressed a commitment to enhancing people-to-people exchanges, mobility, and consular cooperation. Emphasizing the deep-rooted historical ties between India and Nigeria, Dr. Jaishankar underscored the inclusive approach of the administrations in both countries, affirming that “no one should be left behind.” During the meeting, Dr. Jaishankar highlighted India’s significant economic contributions to Nigeria, with investments estimated at around USD 27 billion and an annual trade turnover ranging from USD 13 to 15 billion. He noted that approximately 130 Indian companies have become major employers in Nigeria, reflecting a robust foundation for future collaboration.

Following the conclusion of the meeting, Dr. Jaishankar, in a joint press conference with his counterpart, Tuggar, expressed satisfaction with the discussions and unveiled the various agreements signed between the two nations. These agreements covered diverse areas, including solar energy, health, transportation, and the use of digital technology for cashless payments. Among the agreements, the focus on solar energy collaboration was emphasized, aiming to foster cooperation in the field of green and clean energy. Additionally, both nations acknowledged shared health challenges and committed to making medicines more accessible and affordable. The discussion extended to transportation, alternative forms of energy, and the utilization of digital technology for cashless payments.

Dr. Jaishankar’s visit to Nigeria, scheduled from January 21 to 23, included engagements such as addressing the India-Nigeria Business Forum and the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos on India and the Global South. During his visit to the Indian High Commission in Abuja, Dr. Jaishankar unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi and planted a sapling in the High Commission premises.

The visit marks Dr. Jaishankar’s first to Nigeria, symbolizing the commitment to further consolidate bilateral relations between the two countries. The Ministry of External Affairs anticipates that this renewed engagement will contribute significantly to the already close and friendly relations between India and Nigeria. Prior to his visit, Dr. Jaishankar led the Indian delegation at the 19th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Kampala, Uganda, engaging with various foreign leaders and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the summit.