Nigeria calls for Indian assistance in ailing textile industry

"The areas of assistance are pretty obvious. We are proud of your textile industry and are committed to supporting cotton growing, cotton cultivation, and the application of cotton to textile industry and anything that is germane to textile industry,"  Nigeria's Commerce and Industry Minister Jubril Martins-Kuye was quoted as saying in the Next newspaper.

Speaking during a meeting with a visiting Indian delegation in Abuja,  Martins-Kuye said, "Nigeria   is committed to ensuring that the textile industries work again."

In line with this, he has directed the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association to compile areas of need which might be addressed by India to be  submitted  to him within seven days. He asked  the delegation to assist Nigeria in high yielding cotton varieties and in introducing modern species which he said is the basis for laying foundation for availability and competition.

Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mahesh Sachdev said, "India is Nigeria's second largest trading partner with the total volume of trade according to our statistics nearly $10.3 billion." he said.

"On the industrial front, Indian companies in Nigeria are also second largest in terms of employment of Nigerians," Sachdev  adding that, trade relationship between Nigeria and India has been robust and relatively balanced.

The federal government  is the main employer in the country and this is followed by the Indian community and Indian-based companies which  together  contribute employment of Nigerian people. Sachdev said.

This is significant as there are just about 30,000 Indians in Nigeria, less than 1.5 per cent of the total Nigeria population. India is therefore seeking more ways to boost bilateral and financial ties with Nigeria.

"Initially the visit of the delegation  was to four countries across Africa  but  in view our close ties with Nigeria and the fact that Nigeria's textile industry deals with the Indian community, it was decided that we include Nigeria in the list," he said. "We are here to showcase our expertise and offer our experience on the very important task to bring Nigeria's once mighty textile industry and cotton growing population."

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