By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The need to strengthen the bilateral tie between Nigeria and India, especially in the areas of renewable energy, sustainable development and other environmental issues has been advocated.
The call was made when the newly-posted Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Abhay Thakur, paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Environment, Hassan Suleiman Zarma, at his office in Abuja.
The Indian envoy recalled that Nigeria and India have always enjoyed healthy and strategic cooperation, with some Indian teachers and doctors even taking permanent residence in Nigeria, in the past.
“It is very encouraging to note that the relationship between our two countries dates back to 3-4 generations, with our doctors and teachers contributing their quota to Nigeria’s healthcare and education respectively.
“Nigeria is indeed a very hospitable country as most of them do not want to leave Nigeria”.
Thakur, therefore called for renewed corporation and collaboration between the two countries, owing to the fact that Nigeria has the highest population in Africa and India with a staggering population of over 900 million is world’s third most populated nation.
This was contained in a press statement signed by Director Press,Saghir El-Muhammad said the High commissioner emphasized that there is need for both countries to mutually-synergize and speak with one voice on global environmental issues at international fora.
He assured that an MOU on renewable energy between the two countries will be signed soon.
Responding, the Minister, re-affirmed the existing healthy bilateral relationship between Nigeria and India, stressing that the relationship has benefited both countries in Education, health care and economic development.
He informed his guest that he was a direct beneficiary of the relationship, as he was taught by Indian teachers.
Zarma disclosed that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has just ratified the International Solar Alliance and expressed optimism that the President will soon append his signature.
He observed that Nigeria is bedeviled with a lot of ecological challenges that require support and assistance from countries that had already tackled those challenges.
“We request for the support of your country to address some of our issues and concerns, with bio-safety at the forefront of the challenges,” the Environment Minister said.