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Nigeria and India to switch to local currencies in trade

The countries also aim to boost economic cooperation in energy, pharmaceuticals and transport

India and Nigeria are likely to finalize an agreement soon on local-currency debt settlement, with the aim of further strengthening their bilateral economic ties, the Indian commerce and industry ministry announced on Friday.

Other areas of cooperation, including energy, pharmaceuticals and transport, were discussed at the second Session of the India-Nigeria Joint Trade Committee (JTC) held in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

The official delegation from India included officials from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), EXIM Bank of India, and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

“Both sides agreed to the early conclusion of the Local Currency Settlement System Agreement to further strengthen bilateral economic ties,” the ministry said.

It added that the two countries have identified several areas of focus for enhancing bilateral trade, as well as for mutually beneficial investments.

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“These include resolving of market-access issues of both sides, and cooperation in key sectors such as crude oil and natural gas, pharmaceuticals, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), local currency settlement system, power sector and renewable energy, agri and food processing, education, transport, railway, aviation, MSMEs [Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises],” it said.

Nigeria is India’s second-largest trading partner in Africa. Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $11.8 billion in 2022-23. In 2023-24, bilateral trade stood at $7.89 billion, showing a declining trend.

Around 135 Indian companies are actively engaged in Nigeria’s market, with a total investment of $27 billion. These investments include sectors encompassing infrastructure, manufacturing, consumer goods, and services.

May 04, 2024 at 12:49AM
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