By Joan Nwagwu
Abuja – The Federal Government says it will continue to partner with the Indian Government to enhance the existing bilateral relationship between the two countries.
Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, said this when he received the High Commissioner of India to Nigeria in his office in Abuja on Thursday.
He said that Nigeria has an existing robust relationship with India in terms of trade, education, labour, foreign affairs, among others and both countries have mutually discharged their responsibilities to each other.
According to him, I will want to solicit your support to protect Nigerians working in India by issuing them with relevant work permits and ease of doing business in India.
“As we all know, there are few Nigerians that are in India that are also doing their own businesses there.
“A lot of Nigerian investors have set up their industries there and likewise some Indians have set up theirs here also.
“We have protected Indians working here, given them work permits and also open up the ease of doing business with them because they are good entrepreneurs and have employed hundreds of Nigerians in India.
“So, it is incumbent on us to give protection to all those in Nigeria and we hope this will also continue in India,’’ he said.
Ngige, however, called for the resuscitation of labour capacity building between the two countries, which was stopped in 2013.
He noted that the exchange programme had been very educative as a lot of Nigerian labour officers were trained in the India Labour Institute as part of technical assistance to Nigeria by the India government.
“We want that programme to be resuscitated and we will appreciate it, so that our staff can be up to date,’’ he said.
He also called on the Indian government to key fully into the local content capacity programme in Nigeria, saying there is nothing you need here as an industrialist that is not available including raw materials.
He said that even labour is cheaper here than in India, so once you key into it you will create jobs for Nigerians and at the same time make your own profit.
Ngige, therefore, said this was a formidable way to fight unemployment and create more jobs for the teeming youths.
‘‘We appeal to you to create employment to Nigerians in India. I am asking for cooperation of your government to help us equip our labour content.
“We need people that will help us to train our people. We are aware that you have been giving us grants and we will appreciate, if this grant continues.
“We want you to help us establish more refineries, so that you will also make your profit. We also urge you to key into our certificate programme,’’ he said.
The minister also commended the Indian government for its robust relationship with the Nigerian government.
Speaking, Mr Abhay Thakur, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, also praised the Federal Government for its robust bilateral relations.
Thakur assured the Federal Government that the Indian government would do its best to foster the existing relationship. (NAN)