By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Indian companies have made a pledge worth $14 billion to be deployed for investment purposes in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation
The pledges were made at a meeting between Nigerian leader, President Bola Tinubu and top executives in New Delhi during the Nigeria-India Presidential Roundtable and Conference on the side-lines of the G20 Summit, Tinubu’s spokesman Ajuri Ngelale said in a statement.
Tinubu at the meeting urged investors to take advantage of the new dispensation under his rule to expand their business interests.
Since taking over as Nigerian President in May, Tinubu a former Governor of Lagos, commercial nerve centre of the country had introduced a number of economic reforms, including the removal of foreign exchange controls to ease the flow of foreign capital and fuel subsidy which he said does not serve the interest of a larger population of Nigerians
“We are ready to give you the best returns for investment possible, there’s nowhere else like our country,” he said. “Nigeria offers the best returns for investment today, so invest now.”
Top Indian majors were among the companies to make pledges of new investments to Africa’s biggest economy.
Indorama Petrochemical Ltd. pledged $8 billion in new investments for the expansion of its fertilizer production and petrochemical facility in Nigeria’s Rivers state.
Jindal Steel and Power Ltd., one of India’s largest private steel producers, committed to investing $3 billion in Nigeria.
The founding president of SkipperSeil Ltd., Jitender Sachdeva, announced that he is investing $1.6 billion in the establishment of twenty 100MW power generation plants across the states of northern Nigeria, amounting to 2,000MW of new power within the next four years.
Bharti Enterprises, a major corporation in India with interests in telecom, space communications, digital solutions, insurance, processed foods, real estate, and hospitality, will invest an additional $700 million in Nigeria, where its Airtel Africa unit already operates.
The deals also include a $1 billion agreement to bring the Defense Industries Corporation of Nigeria to 40% self-sufficiency in local manufacturing and production of defense equipment in-country by 2027, through a new partnership with the Indian government’s Miltary-Industrial Complex.
Tinubu told the executives of some of India’s largest conglomerates gathered at the meeting not to procrastinate, but rather to invest now.
“Don’t be frightened about investments in Nigeria. Bring it on,” he said.
“Ask your questions and make your requests. The trade and investment opportunities are enormous. I have a team, and I am the captain of that team, and I assure you that we solve problems.”