Yes, there are excitements that at the concluding G20 meeting, Nigeria had investment deals that were principally based on pledges and not on contracts.
In a statement, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite linked the pledged Indian Foreign Direct Investment into the country with the unwavering commitment of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ensuring Nigeria’s industrialization.
However, the new minister and even the president himself, veiled the intractable challenges of poor ease of doing business in Nigeria which is becoming even more unbearable for both indigenous and surviving foreign investors.
In a nut shell, these bugs frustrating business include but not limited to multiple taxation, poor power, bad roads, insecurity, policy inconsistency, fragrant issuance of waivers and others.
Analysts say whereas no government team member mentioned any of these issues to the Indians, the Indian consulate here in Nigeria will do his or her job of telling their countrymen the ture position of Nigerian investment climate after all.
Observers say this has been the reason why majority of all investment pledges made to every Nigerian president on his first foreign trip to seek for investors always fail at the end of the day.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, who said this in a statement on Friday by his Media Adviser, Oladapo Sofowora, disclosed that after President Tinubu arrived from his 18 hours trip from Nigeria on Tuesday, he immediately went into a meeting with Billionaire investor; Mr Prakash Hinduja, Chairman and CEO of the Hinduja Group of Companies to seek partnership on investing Billions of Dollars into the Nigerian economy.
According to the Minister, the Nigerian-Indian bilateral relationship has dated back over 7 decades with the two countries maintaining cordial relationships in trade investment and technology exchange.
“Since that historic September 1962 visit, hosted by Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, the first (and only) PM of Nigeria, in Lagos, Nigerian and Indian leaders presided over a bilateral relationship that has grown in leaps and bounds. In my time here in India, I have seen how much of a thing of pride these feats have been for the Indian people. Successes of this nature are especially significant because they rekindle national hope and optimism, and fuel the collective ambition to achieve even more” Dr Uzoka-Anite said.
She further stated that her first international engagement as Nigeria’s new minister of industry, trade and investment in India has broadened her horizon on how India ticked, the powering forces behind ‘Incredible India’, and how Nigeria can learn from India’s digital enumeration of all citizens, development of an ICT sector that is a global powerhouse, and the fight against poverty.
She further highlighted the models used by Prime Minister Modi in lifting 135 million Indians out of poverty in five years.
She said: “Our trip here has so far been fruitful and Nigerians should be proud of our achievement here. We signed an agreement on Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria Limited (InfraCorp) and Invest India. We also signed another agreement between the Nigerian Ministry of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy and the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. We have also secured investment commitments from multinationals like; SkipperSeil Group, Jindal Steel and Power Limited, Bharti Enterprises, Indorama Petrochemical Limited amounting to several billions of dollars.”
Speaking on her bilateral meeting with the Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, Dr Uzoka-Anite Doris further disclosed that it provided yet another opportunity for them to discuss how Nigeria and India can improve trade and investment relations as she also wooed various Indian entrepreneurs who are already doing business in Nigeria.
“I am struck by their love and passion for Nigeria, and how proud they are to be seen as champions of the investment potential of Nigeria.
‘We have more than 130 Indian companies that are active in Nigeria from manufacturing to hospitality to oil and gas, and healthcare sector. Our work is made much easier with these enthusiastic promoters of Nigeria and its immense opportunities. I have felt very much at home here in India. Anyone who knows both countries will be aware of just how much we have in common: our colonial heritage, fast-growing, multilingual, multi-religious populations, the success stories of our young people, especially in ICT, and our teeming diasporas.”
The Minister also revealed that ratification of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and India, which allows Air Peace to fly twice weekly between Lagos and Mumbai, in April 2023 has opened more opportunities for exchange between the two countries. She however noted that Nigeria needs to fastrack the signing of Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA), and Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECA), with India.
“Joining the G20, as Africa’s largest economy and most populous country, will no doubt position Nigeria to benefit from even more favourable trade and economic ties with India and other leading world economies.
“This visit will mark the beginning of a new vista for Nigeria-India relations, under the leadership of President Tinubu and PM Modi. There are indeed no limits to what we can achieve, for the mutual benefit of Nigerians. We are surely on the path of prosperity”, the Minister added.