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Nig, Indian govts to partner on N/Delta development

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…as minister laments loss of communities to flood

By Onome Oghenetega

The government of India says it is committed to partnering with Nigeria in the areas of power, agriculture and youth empowerment in the Niger Delta.

The Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Abhay Thakur, disclosed this in Abuja, when he met with the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, Tuesday,

This was contained in a press release signed by the Deputy Director of the ministry’s press unit, Stephen Kilebi.

Thakur who stated that he had in a recent rendezvous with a delegation of the Niger Delta Chamber of Commerce assured his country’s readiness to bettering the Nigerian society said, “we discussed exchange of business opportunities, investments and operational maintenance of facilities as designed by business representatives of the Niger Delta.”

He added that India had received several representatives from the Niger Delta in its capacity building programme tagged, “Indian Technical and Economic Corporation (ITEC).

Meanwhile, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani has revealed that at least 20 communities in the Niger Delta are lost to flood disasters yearly.

According to the release, Usani posited that a collaboration with the Indian government will foster development in the oil-rich region.

Lamenting the sorry condition of the area, Usani said: “the Niger Delta is suffering a lot of things. Communities in the region are being submerged under the sea due to serious coastal problems.”

Pointing out government’s commitment to youth development as well as, security of investments, the minister stated that Nigeria expects more engagements with India, especially in politics.

He urged the Commission to help advance Nigeria’s democracy, describing India as a country with the largest democracy in the world.

On his part, the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Prof. Claudius Daramola called on the government of India to establish hospitals in the country.

According to him, not only will it check medical tourism, it will also provide medical aids to less privileged Nigerians who may not have the resources to travel to India.

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