India says Nigeria is more favoured in the trade relations between the two countries.
Nigeria and India are to review their Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) in view of the increased trade and investment between them, the Indian High Commissioner in Nigeria has said.
Mahesh Sachdev said trade and investment between the two countries stands at 26 billion dollars.
He said in Abuja on Tuesday that the agreement, when reviewed, would enable airlines to operate a non-stop flight to both countries.
“We are negotiating with Nigeria on renewal of BASA and ideally, it should be possible for us to use the opportunity to ensure direct flights, especially for medical tourists,” he said.
Mr. Sachdev said the “excellent” bilateral relations between Nigeria and India is evident in the current volume of trade which makes India Nigeria’s first trading partner.
“We believe we are Nigeria’s first trading partner, according to Indian data.
“According to data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, in the first quarter of this year, we became the largest market in Nigeria, overtaking the U.S.
“The U.S. has been your major partner for more than 50 years.
The envoy said the current trade figure is in favour of Nigeria. With 12 billion dollars gain annually, you sell more than you buy from India,” Mr. Sachdev said.
He also said that India’s investment in Nigeria had doubled to nine billion dollars since 2009 in pharmaceuticals, transportation and ICT.
According to him, people-to-people contacts between Nigerians and Indians is on the increase with the issuance of 33,000 visas to Nigerians in 2011.
Mr. Sachdev described the development as positive, saying it represents a 40 per cent increase compared to previous years.