India, Nigeria working closely to counter terrorism –Envoy

Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Abhay Thakur, said on Sunday that India was working closely with Nigeria to tackle insecurity by fighting terrorism and radicalisation in the country.

Thakur disclosed this while answering reporters’ questions on the sidelines of the commemoration of the 75th Independence Anniversary of India at the high commission in Abuja.

He said India would continue to support Nigeria’s security and defense agencies in tackling banditry and other related crimes.

According to him, India and Nigeria have enjoyed years of friendship dating back to the independence of both countries.

The Indian envoy said both countries would sustain the friendship across all sectors.

“There are a number of counter-terrorism initiatives both in terms of security exchanges and capacity building.

“Counter-terrorism is a key area of training for the Nigeria military.

“We are also jointly developing an Improvised Explosive Device detector which will work at a standoff range of 15 metres.

“There is just one example of joint defense research to counter-terrorism both sharing cyber terrorism.

“We have had very important visits of Nigeria’s defence and security establishments to India in the past two years.

“All heads of agencies, all heads of security establishments have met. We are working together to tackle radicalism in all our discourse.

“India and Nigeria have really stood by each other both at the United Nations and in building bilateral relations,” Thakur said.

He said India had a thriving trade relationship with Nigeria.

According to the high commissioner, India is happy with the achievements it has recorded in the past 75 years.

He added that the time had come for stock-taking, to see what more it could achieve in the next 25 years when it would mark 100 years of independence.

Thakur said that India had built great multilateral and bilateral relations with other countries and world bodies.

“It is a very momentous occasion because it is the 75th Independence day when we are commencing formally the year-long celebration of India at 75.

“And as the President of India has said in his speech, we should look at what we will do in the next 25 years and where we want to be; how do we progress to the 100th Anniversary in 2047.

“So it is a time for stock-taking, looking forward, celebrating, and also charting the way forward.

“It is an important day to renew our friendship with our diasporas, with our friends across the world.

President, Indian Cultural Association, Mr Elvis PannerSelver, in Abuja, lauded the cultural relationship between India and Nigeria.

“The India-Nigeria relationship is a very friendly and good one. I have been here in this country for almost 21 years.

“I am married to a Nigerian woman and we have four children between us.

“Today, many Nigerian families have come to celebrate with us. We see Nigeria as our home also.

“Doing business in Nigeria is very smooth and the Nigerian government is supportive.

“So, there is no problem doing business in Nigeria,” PannerSelver said.

(NAN)

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