New Delhi [India], August 18 (ANI): Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan will pay an official visit to Nigeria from August 22-23 and address the Nigeria-India Business Council (NIBC) meeting.
"Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri V. Muraleedharan will pay an official visit to the Federal Republic of Nigeria (22-23 August 2022)," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a press release.
During the visit to Abuja, MoS will pay a courtesy call on Muhammad Buhari, the country's President and will also meet Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria and Major General Bashir Magashi (Rtd), Minister of Defence of Nigeria.
In addition, MoS will also interact with and address a cross-section of members of the Indian diaspora.
Furthermore, the MoS will address the Nigeria-India Business Council (NIBC) meeting together with Yemi Osinbajo, Vice-President of Nigeria. NIBC was formally launched by Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama during his visit to India in April 2022 for the Raisina Dialogue 2022.
India-Nigeria has always enjoyed close and friendly relations which are deep-rooted and multifaceted. The bilateral trade has been growing steadily and registered a record USD 14.95 billion in 2021-22.
India and Nigeria enjoy warm, friendly and deep-rooted bilateral relations. India and Nigeria are large developing and democratic countries with multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual societies. India as the largest democracy in the world and Nigeria as the largest in Africa, become natural partners.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, both countries have maintained close contact and supported each other in their fight against the pandemic. The MoS's visit will further the momentum of the high-level exchanges and strengthen cooperation with Nigeria, bilaterally and in the multilateral fora.
MoS Muraleedharan had earlier visited Nigeria in June 2019 to participate in the celebrations of Democracy Day hosted by Nigeria.
Both countries were at the forefront of the international anti-colonial and anti-apartheid struggle and closely collaborated in various international fora. High-Level engagements continued to impart momentum to bilateral relations.
The Indian community in Nigeria is estimated to be about 50,000 persons - about 45,000 Indian nationals and about 5,000 Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs). (ANI)