The Federal Government has concluded plans to collaborate with the Indian government on infrastructure development in the country.
Mr Usani Usani, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs disclosed this on Tuesday when the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Abbay Thakur, visited him in Abuja.
Usani, who said that Nigeria had a long standing relationship with India, underscored the need for both countries to strengthen partnership on development.
“The ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is delighted to receive you because Nigeria, especially the Niger Delta region, needs collaboration to address infrastructure and social challenges.
“It is believed in some quarters that once you get into the Niger Delta region, you are kidnapped.
.”But for people like you, we believe that you will go and become ambassadors to let the outer society know that Nigeria is still a home to many.
“So we are happy to collaborate with Indian government as a ministry so that we will grow faster,” he said.
The minister added that India had contributed immensely to the development of human capital in the country.“We will be ready to give you and the Indian businessmen the maximum cooperation and guidance.
“At any point in time, you need our assistance, we are readily available to give whatever guidance you need,” Usani said.
Prof. Claudius Daramola, the Minister of State for Niger Delta, also called on Indian High commission to facilitate the establishment of Indian hospitals in the country.Daramola said that this would drastically reduce medical tourism among Nigerians and take care of Nigerians that cannot afford medical care abroad.
“I request that you bring some of your health facilities to Nigeria so that the common people can go there and benefit,” he said.Thakur assured that India government would do its best to set up business chambers for infrastructure development in the country.
According to him, the commission has a lot of Indian health facilities to train people in the country.
“There is a website called itec.gov which has Indian technical and economic cooperation programmes, where a lot of training programmes are made available.
“We are training almost 5,000 foreigners under this programme. We consider it as one of the Indians signature diplomatic programme to Africa,” he said.