Considering that India remains Nigeria's largest export trading partner, the Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives, Bismarck Rewane, has called for improved trade relations between the two countries and the need to explore opportunities in the ICT sector.
Speaking at an event organised by the Nigerian-Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI) to commemorate the 60thanniversary of diplomatic engagement between Nigeria and India, Rewane stated that while trade relations between the two countries is growing, lagging sectors of the economy should be explored for investment.
He explained that with India overtaking the US as the largest importer of Nigeria's crude oil and crude oil accounting for 88% of the total exports to India in Q2'18, other areas of export should be explored.
According to him, moves by India to discontinue diesel cars as from 2030 may have a negative impact on Nigeria in terms of decline in oil demand as well as on Nigeria's oil revenue.With over 135 Indian companies operating in Nigeria, Rewane said the value of exports relative to imports was $6.75bn and $1.30bn in 2017, while trade imbalance stood at $5.45bn.
Furthermore, investment activity as shown by capital importation increased significantly to $12.79mn in 2017; in Q2'18, $1.69mn, 0.03% of the total capital inflows were recorded from India.Though the two countries share some similarities, Rewane called for improved trade ties and diversification of the Nigerian economy for growth.
Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Nagabhushana Reddy, had at a previous meeting said that both countries had over the years remained strategic partners with improved levels of cooperation between them with a bilateral trade volume of $9.4 billion in 2017.
"India is now the largest trading partner of Nigeria globally and Nigeria is the largest trading partner of India in Africa with bilateral trade of $9.4 billion last year."
Both countries have had existing relations in various areas including agriculture, defense, trade, capacity building, healthcare, infrastructure and socio-cultural relations. The envoy, said that most of the trade was reliant on oil import from Nigeria, which stands at 80 per cent compared to 20 per cent of Indian exports to Nigeria.
"Though, we are the largest purchaser of crude oil from Nigeria, there is room for improvement. "The trade balance is 80-20 where 80 per cent is what we import from Nigeria and 20 per cent we export which is essentially in pharmaceuticals, engineering equipment, automobile to some of the specialised products particularly in the power sector.
"We also have some amount of fuel being sold here by Indian oil companies." The Indian high commissioner added that India was an emerging development partner of Nigeria with emphasis on sharing of knowledge and experience with a view to improve capacity building in diverse areas.