Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has solicited the assistance of India to support Nigeria’s bid for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.
Dogara made the appeal recently when he received in audience the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. AR Ghanashyam in his office.
The Speaker said relations between the two countries dates back to pre-independence Nigeria.
He stressed that Nigeria and India had been bidding for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, which has five members.
Dogara maintained that Nigeria and India could play significant role in reforming the UN Security Council as they bid for permanent seats.
The Speaker said India was now the number one importer of Nigeria’s crude oil surpassing the United States of America.
The Speaker revealed that as at December 2013, the total trade volume between the two countries stood at $17 billion, which underscores the level of economic engagements between Nigeria and India.
He, however, decried medical tourism by Nigerians to India, saying the idea should be discouraged by establishing standard and well-equiped Indian hospitals in Nigeria.
The Speaker further urged the envoy to invite India’s investors to come to Nigeria and establish standard hospitals and explore other investment opportunities.
He observed that India had advanced in areas as ICT, agriculture and energy, adding that it could help Nigeria in developing its potentials.
The Speaker also advocated for the establishment of Nigeria-India Parliamentary friendship groups.
In his remarks, the Indian High Commissioner, Mr. Mr. AR Ghanashyam, said his country places great importance to its relations with Nigeria.
The High Commissioner disclosed that in the last three decades, four African leaders were invited as special guest of honour during Indian National Day celebrations, two of which were former Nigerians leaders, Shehu shagari and Olusegun Obasanjo.


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