By Emmanuel Daudu, Abuja
The Senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian President on Youths and Students, Nasir Saidu Adhama has applauded the Indian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency Abhay Thakur over achievements in 2020.
Hon. Nasir who spoke to journalists immediately after the Indian 72nd Republic Day reception in Nigeria, held on the 26 January, 2021 at the Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, commended the effort of the Indian Ambassador in Nigeria as he assured them of maximum support in their sundry activities in Nigeria.
The High Commissioner of India to Nigeria, H.E Abhay Thakur who outlined successes attained last year despite COVID-19 disclosed that despite the pandemic, there were several important and positive developments in the India-Nigeria relations which rests on a solid foundation of age-old and long-standing ties, based on deep mutual respect, goodwill and shared concerns and priorities.
Outlining his achievements, he said, more than 15 bilateral business events between leading business chambers on both sides were organized with substantial success.
He stated further, Defence industries and R&D organizations of both sides held discussions on areas of mutual interest. An MOU on cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space was signed in August 2020.
“Considering that the last direct flight between India and Nigeria had taken place thirty (30) years ago in 1989, the year 2020 saw thirty-two (32) special direct flights, carrying more than ten thousand(10,000) passengers between Nigeria and India. We hope that these numbers will encourage airlines to commence direct flights in 2021, once international air travel normalizes. In addition to government of India donating a consignment of essential medicines to Nigeria, in Indian community set up and handed over a fifty (50) bed COVID-19 treatment and isolation centre to the Department of Health in Lagos. Under our E-ITEC capacity building program for mid-level professionals, sixty-two civilian E-training slots and sixty-nine (69) defence E-training slots were utilized by Nigerians.
“In fact, our relations saw more exchanges, more interactions and more cooperation during 2020 than in the preceding years, without necessarily meeting physically.
Disclosing anticipated projects with Nigeria for the year 2021, the Ambassador said, ” we are already looking forward to more exchanges in the fields of trade-economic cooperation, counter-terrorism, defence and security, foreign affairs, and consular matters”.
Earlier, His Excellency Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India has sent in a message stating that Indians should look at 2020 as a year of learning.
According to His Excellency, the Ambassador of India to Nigeria, His Excellency, Abhay Thakur, who read the message at the 72 Republic Day Reception celebration held in Abuja-Nigeria at the India Embassy on the 26 January 2021 stated that the Indian President, in his message, enumerated that there were challenges to the Indian economy, society, and way of life during 2020, but yet there were miracles too.
” In Indian, there was a farming miracle, when our food, herbal and traditional medicine sector saw enormous growth. There was an IT miracle when almost all types of industrial, commercial, social and education activities were held in virtual mode. There was a scientific miracle, when within one year, we were able to produce our own vaccines, administer them domestically and have already supplied them to no less than fifteen (15) countries across the world, and counting.
His Excellency Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo also disclosed that the federal government would be willing to collaborate with the Indian government to inhabit the insecurity in Nigeria, pointing out that no country can fight insecurity alone.