Femi Adesina; Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja said his administration will continue to welcome innovative ideas in the gas, technology and agricultural sectors to reposition the economy.
Receiving the Letter of Credence of the High Commissioner of the Republic of India, Mr. Nagabhushana Reddy, at the State House, President Buhari said Nigeria will strengthen cooperation with the Asian country on education, technology transfer and military training.
“The relationship between Nigeria and India is a long one. The relationship pre-dates Nigeria’s independence and as soon as we got our independence we opened a mission in New Delhi.
“Our relationship cuts across education, military, trade manufacturing and technology. I recall schooling at the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington from 1970 to 1973 and the significant role India played in establishing the Nigerian Defence Academy.
“Certainly, you are also the biggest buyer of Nigeria’s crude oil today. We need more of that partnership as Nigeria tries to be more innovative in education, manufacturing and agriculture to diversify the economy,” he said.
President Buhari said the strong relationship that had been established between Nigeria and India over the years could be further explored in creating a competitive edge, and mutual advantage for both countries in agriculture, trade and skills transfer.
In his remarks, Reddy said the Indian government was looking forward to consolidating its relationship with the Ministries of Petroleum, Agriculture, Trade and Investment, and Power, Housing and Urban Development for various projects.
The Indian High Commissioner said the Indian Chamber of Commerce had already created a Nigerian Chapter, with a view to promoting trade, especially in the energy sector.
President Buhari also received Letters of Credence from Ambassador of the Republic of Gambia, Mr. Famara Kassy Gaye; Ambassador of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Mr. Thambirajah Reveenthiran and Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Morteza Rahimi Zarchi.