Published On: Mon, Nov 2nd, 2015

Why India is Buhari’s beautiful bride today

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari is not cast in the mould of the legendary Ajala the traveller like some other Nigerian leader that we know. A careful man and a defiantly ascetic personality, he also is not one for winding curves and convoluted patterns: he cuts to the chase.

Evidence of this can be readily gleaned from his travel itinerary since his emergence as President of Africa’s most populous nation. He goes only to places that he really is persuaded that he must go. For security reasons, he has visited Chad, Niger, Cameroun and Benin Republic. For international engagements, he has gone to the US and Germany. And now, he has also gone to India. For what?

India, the second most populous nation on earth is like Nigeria a former British colony. But Buhari did not go the India to speak the Queen’s English. His visit was to participate in the Indo-Africa summit convened by the revivalist Modi administration. But it has also afforded the Nigerian leader variable opportunity to touch base with a nation that is acknowledged today as Nigeria’s largest trading partner. And growing

Proof of this is the fact that India is now Nigeria’s largest crude importer with an estimated 20 -25 percent of India’s domestic oil demand currently being met by Nigeria.  This translates to India purchasing 30% of Nigeria’s daily crude production amounting to some 400, 000bpd. This US$10bn trade is reinforced by Indian oil companies being involved in oil drilling operations in the country.

Overall, India’s economic interest in Nigeria has continued to grow, rising from USD 293.71 million in 1999-00 to USD 875 million in 2005-06. In 2007, the value of non-oil bilateral trade was estimated at between USD 6-7.9 billion. Exports to India accounted for USD 3.9 billion between April and September, 2006. India’s exports to Nigeria were valued at USD $875 million in 2005/06.

Singly then, Nigeria is the largest trading partner of India in Africa and also the largest market in Africa for Indian exports. Bilateral annual trade turnover was over US$ 17.3 billion in 2011-12 registering the growth of over 34%.  During 2012-13, Indian exports further grew by 1.33% though bilateral trade slightly declined to $ 16.8 billion.

Some 100 or more Indian companies today operate in Nigeria. Prominent among them are Bharti Airtel, Indorama, Olam International, Tata, Bajaj Auto,  Birla Group, Kirloskar, Mahindra, Ashok Leyland, NIIT, ApTech  New  India  Assurance,  Bhushan  Steel,  KEC,  Skipper  Nigeria,  Dabur,  Godrej and  the Primus  Super-speciality  Hospital.

Put in other terms then, for a Buhari administration that is buffeted by very heady economic headwinds, engaging India correctly is a task that must be done. And it is looking like both parties may very well be abreast with what is at stake.

The first move in the currently unfolding engagement may have itself been made by India. Days into the emergence of Buhari as President, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, in what observers perceive as a clear act of diplomatic hardball gave an uncharacteristic interview berating the former administration in the land and alluding to the fact that its officials and operatives may have corruptly frustrated the Asian nation’s bid to get a better foothold in the Nigerian oil sector.

The concerned officials and institutions mentioned in the story have since stated their own side but the mere fact that the High Commissioner spoke, and in such light, clearly demonstrated that India was pushing on all fours.

Equally, India also came prepared to give a number of freebies to the mother continent. It is offering African countries concessional credit of $10 billion for 10 years, grant assistance of $600m & 50000 scholarships.

But why?

Some of the answer may be found in the historic frame of Third World solidarity. But it is more than that. India under Modi is pushing to take a front place in the world. It wants a seat in the UN Security Council. It has learnt from China that an Asian country can push its weight if it strives hard. After all, the once limping Chinese economy is now a massive $17trillion fortress! And of course there is the added fact that India’s Modi is presently re-discovering that one sure way to create jobs for its burgeoning population is to partner with far-flung nations on different levels.

And with the high standards of the west and better industrialized Northern hemisphere, India knows that it has to chiefly look south to begin its journey. So it is being nice to Southern nations (including the 54 that comprise the African Union) that can take some Indian personnel, business, money and kebab in return for giving India access to its markets, cheap raw materials and citizens.

Remarks Catherine Grant Makokera of the Conflict Management and Peacebuilding Division of ISS Pretoria:

‘While it is always difficult to generalise continental activities that largely take place at a bilateral level, there are some common objectives in India’s approach to Africa. The three notable areas …are India’s search for new markets, for resource security, and for allies in multilateral negotiations – including at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, World Trade Organisation and United Nations.’

The question then is not what India wants per se but rather what Buhari and Nigeria set their sights to get when they accepted to join in the Indian party?

Some of this can be answered by the President’s address at a session with Indian business players when he reportedly stated that in lieu of the fall in oil prices, his government was already implementing policies that may hurt operations of some businesses in the short term, but which it believed were right for a sustainable economy.

BY RICHARD MAMMAH & FELIX OLOYEDE

© 2015, Hallmarknews. All rights reserved. Reference and link to this site is required if you wish to reuse any article.

Reactions from Facebook

comments and opinions

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • China offshore oil coy to invest $3bn in Nigeria

    The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) is to invest an additional three billion dollars in its existing stakes in offshore oil and gas operations in Nigeria. Mr Ndu Ughamadu, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) spokesman said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja. Ughamadu said Mr Yuan Guangyu, the Chief Executive Officer […]

  • Ecobank risk assets deteriorate as Kie bows out

    By FELIX OLOYEDE The exit of Ecobank Nigeria’s erstwhile Managing Director, Charles Kie, has raised a groundswell of speculation in the financial community as sector analysts believe that his exit was abrupt, untimely and suspicious. Over a period of two years, Kie had succeeded in reversing the banks bedraggled balance sheet and profit and loss […]

  • Blood, blood everywhere: Herdsmen, rustlers on the rampage

    –  Violence, a well-articulated plot to grab land – Expert  By AYOOLA OLAOLUWA Nigeria is gradually descending into a Hobbesian state with the growing killings in the Middle Belt, in addition to the destruction of lives and properties in the North West and Boko Haram insurgency in the North East. Defenseless citizens are being killed like […]

  • 2018 budget in jeopardy

    . Delay alone has reduced performance by 13% – Experts By UCHE CHRIS In all likelihood the 2018 budget will end like the three previous budgets of the President Buhari administration: a failure. Having been passed seven months after its presentation and half year gone; and with all the controversies surrounding its passage by the […]

  • MTN to miss market listing target

    By OKEY ONYENWEAKU A weak domestic economy in Nigeria may force telecommunications giant MTN to shift its earlier proposed August 2018 date for a local listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Analysts believe that the date shift will allow the parties to the Offer plan a more successful listing arrangement that would guaranty full […]

  • APC crises widen: Amaechi battles for relevance, Modu-Sheriff is new strongman

    By OBINNA EZUGWU Key actors in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) managed to keep up appearance to allow for a smooth transition at the party’s recently held national convention. Except for the exchange of blows among Imo and Delta States delegates, the convention was largely a success. But beneath the facade of orderliness, tensions […]

  • INEC declares Fayemi governor-elect in Ekiti

    The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressive Congress (APC) winner of the Ekiti Governorship Election held on Saturday. INEC’s Chief Returning Officer for the election, Professor Idowu Olayinka declared the result on Sunday. According to the Returning Officer, Kayode got 197,459 votes to defeat the Deputy Governor of […]

  • President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wednesday that Nigeria will soon sign up to a $3 trillion African free-trade agreement. Nigeria is one of Africa’s two largest economies, the other being South Africa. Buhari’s government had refused to join a continental free-trade zone established in March, on the grounds that it wishes to defend its own […]

  • PDP meets Obasanjo for advice on how to beat Buhari in 2019 polls

    The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) will meet with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta on Saturday to seek advice on how to achieve victory in the 2019 polls and beat incumbent Muhammadu Buhari. The National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus, made this known in Abeokuta while addressing journalists after a […]

  • GTBank Launches Social Impact Challenge, Aims to Fund Community Development Projects Nationwide

    Following more than two decades of consistent investment in community development, Guaranty Trust Bank plc is taking its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) another step further by launching a Social Impact Challenge that will fund dozens of innovative ideas designed and executed by members of the general public. Tagged #SimpleChangeBigImpact, the Social Impact Challenge invites individuals […]

  • Akpobome gives indigent girls educational lifeline

    Akpobome gives indigent girl The hope of indigent girls who have been struggling with their education has been rekindled as Mrs. Mary Akpobome, former executive director, Heritage Bank and her husband,  Mr. Atunyota Akpobome, fondly called Alli-Baba have jointly floated The Purple Girl Foundation with the purpose  of helping them live their dreams. Giving reasons […]

  • Buhari’s NLNG signature project back on track

    President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the board, management, staff and shareholders of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas company (NLNG), the NNPC and other Joint Venture partners, Shell, Total and AGIP on the signing of the contracts for the Front End Engineering Design (FFED) of Train 7 of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Project. The President […]

  • Buhari creates unit to snoop on illegal money transfers

    President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit bill (NFIU) 2018 into law, creating a body that will henceforth monitor illegal money transfers and money laundering. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, confirmed this development while briefing State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday. […]

  • NCC wades into MTN’s labour issues

    The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Monday said the organisation has opened talks with critical stakeholders on MTN’s labour issues. Mr Tony Ojobo, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, made this known in a statement by in Abuja. “NCC under the leadership of Prof. Umar Danbatta has opened talks with other critical stakeholders  through the office of […]

  • Weak purchasing power responsible for slowing inflation rate, says Chukwu

    FELIX OLOYEDE The continuous decelerating inflation rate in the country was largely due to weak purchasing power amongst Nigerians, said Johnson Chukwu, Managing Director, Cowry Asset Management Ltd. Speaking on the theme: “Economy: H1 2018 review and prospect for year end” at the second edition of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA) Cohort 4 quarterly […]

  • Global outrage grows over incessant herdsmen killings

    …there is anarchy in the land – Utomi   By OBINNA EZUGWU The incessant killings in Nigeria by Fulani herdsmen seem to attracting more global attention as U.S. and U.K. have taken the government to task to stop it. During his recent visit to the U.S. by President Buhari, American President Donald had expressed concern […]