Nigeria and India have pledged to fight international terrorism and deepen their democracies to ensure economic prosperity of developing nations.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and his Indian counterpart, Mohammad Ansari, gave the commitments at a State Banquet in honour of the visiting Indian delegation at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday night.
Osinbajo noted that the challenges of terrorism were deep but not insurmountable, adding that the future of the Nigeria-India relationship in solving many societal problems were very bright.
“The challenges we face in international terrorism, giving hope and opportunity to a restless and ever growing number of young people and sustainable development are high but clearly not insurmountable.
“India has shown a remarkable commitment to cooperating in confronting these challenges,’’ Osinbajo declared.
He noted that Nigeria and India had signed agreements on standards which would improve both nations export trades, technology and agriculture.
The vice president said that both nations defence cooperation had grown stronger through the years.
Osinbajo commended the last India/Africa summit where India announced a 10 billion dollars concession line of credit over a 10-year period to Africa.
He observed that the bilateral meeting and the India/Nigeria business Forum also demonstrated the tremendous opportunities and enthusiasm that existed between the two countries.
“Of great importance for effective collaboration is the revitalisation of the India/Nigeria joint commission which met last in 2011.
“The next few years will be the best years yet for India/Nigeria relationship,’’ he said.
In his response, Ansari recalled that India and Nigeria were in the forefront of anti-colonial and anti-apartheid struggle and in the fight against racial inequalities.
Ansari noted that both nations were now working closely for the creation of a more just and equitable international order as they both shared common perceptions on major issues facing the international community.
“We are committed to working together for maintenance of global peace and security, UN reforms, fight against terrorism, establishment of a fair and equitable global trading regime and addressing the vagaries of climate change and promoting green technologies.
“As responsible nations in a changing international order, we have committed to work together to foster the ideals of equitable representation and democratisation of international institutions,’’ Ansari said.
The Indian vice president said that both countries were committed to ensuring that developing countries interests were protected.
He said India had great admiration for Nigeria’s rich creative and cultural heritage and leadership role in the pan-African and regional organisations.
Ansari said that India as the largest democracy in the world and Nigeria as the largest democracy in Africa had much to share and benefit from each other.
“Our strategic partnership is based on confirmation, shared interest and mutual trust and friendship.
“My visit underscores our key desire to deepen the bilateral strategic engagement and to ensure flow of ideas, people-to-people contacts between the two countries.
“We must continue to seize the complementarities and synergies to exploit the new opportunities while handling the present challenges.
“As part of our deepening engagements we are ready to partner Nigeria in economic and commercial domains in expanding our military collaboration and in deepening our development cooperation,’’ he said.
Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi told newsmen that Nigeria/ India trade and cultural ties were increasing.
Bagudu said the relationship between the two countries would remain a great opportunity to boost development.
“We are a growing nation, India is more advanced in some areas and we can share technologies with them.
“We believe they can buy a lot from us because their population and labour cost has been rising and they are increasingly importing a lot from the outside world.
“We believe we can meet some of their agricultural needs in the short run and we believe we can purchase from them technology with which we can expand our investment as well as agriculture.’’