From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Nigerian High Commissioner to the Republic of India with concurrent accreditation to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, Ambassador Ahmed Sule, has called for collaboration amongst countries in the fight against terrorism.
This was even as Sule said synergy between countries is a panacea to a successful anti-terrorism campaign.
Sule made the call at a ceremony organised by the High Commission of Nigeria in New Delhi, India, in commemoration of the nation’s 61st independence anniversary.
In attendance was the Minister of State, External Affairs and Education of India, Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh; African Group of Ambassadors, other ambassadors and heads of mission in New Delhi, business community, friends of Nigeria, Nigerian Community in India, officials of the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India, and officers and staff of the High Commission of Nigeria in India.
Sule stated that terrorism was no longer a domestic security challenge to be handled by individual countries alone.
He added that terrorism is a global phenomenon that has witnessed an extensive collaboration between terrorist organizations worldwide.
“The need by international community to overcome it requires honest and practical collaboration between countries, especially sharing of timely intelligence on terrorists and their movement, sanctioning and isolating countries that are slow or reluctant to implement global anti-terrorism strategies and laws, as well as adequate provision of arms, logistics and other relevant support to states involved in anti-terrorism campaigns. Above all, synergy between countries is a panacea to a successful anti-terrorism campaign,” Sule said.
On the defence cooperation between India and Nigeria, Sule reiterated the need to sustain and deepen the Joint Defence Consultative Committee Meetings, joint collaboration in development of mine detector technology between the Ministries of Defence of India and Nigeria.
“It will be recall that the first dialogue on counter-terrorism hosted by India with any African country at the level of the National Security Advisers is a welcome development and should be sustained by both sides,” Sule also said.
Earlier, Sule said Nigeria and India enjoyed very warm and friendly bilateral relations, and recalled how India established its diplomatic presence in Nigeria two years before our independence in 1960.
The Nigerian envoy added that the historic visit to Nigeria by India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962, still remained the cornerstone of the bilateral relations between both countries.
Both countries, Sule further said, also share common similarities as democratic nations, multi-ethnicity, multi-religion, as well as the largest democracy in the world and Africa respectively.
“Our two countries were at the forefront of international anti-colonial and anti-apartheid struggle and closely collaborated in the various international fora and both countries are members of Commonwealth of Nations.
“Nigeria is India’s biggest trading partner in Africa and India is one of the largest buyers of Nigerian crude oil. There are about one hundred and thirty-five (135) companies owned and operated in Nigeria by Indians. There are over fifty thousand Indians in Nigeria being the biggest Indian community in West Africa. Nigeria as a biggest economy in Africa has huge investment opportunities as the country is shifting its focus from oil and gas to sectors such as tourism, entertainment, mining, agriculture, infrastructure development, Fintech, ICT, education, health, pharmaceutical among others.
“Additionally, there is increase in the demand of Indian goods and services in Nigeria which informed the ever growing commercial and economic ties between the two countries. For instance, the Dangote Group of company project of developing one of the gigantic Petro-chemical and fertilizer complex in the world has several Indian companies associated with the project management, construction and supply of accessories for the two (2) plants. Also, UFLEX group, a specialized packaging company based in Noida (UP) has commenced operation in Nigeria with the vision of introducing recycling technology by converting plastic waste into environmental friendly products,” Sule stated.