‘More business friendly India is paramount’
“If you don't drive your business, you will be driven out of business".
Nigeria is the largest black nation in the world, the largest economy in Africa and the giant of Africa. It is estimated to have above 170 million population. It is a country blessed with lots of human and mineral resources. It is the commercial nerve centre of Africa, most Nigerians are <g data-gr-id="40">self employed</g> in one way or the other.
Nigeria and India <g data-gr-id="50">has</g> <g data-gr-id="51">good</g> business and political relationship. India is the highest buyer of Nigeria crude oil today, India has trained and still training our soldiers, Nigeria depends on India for medical tourism, quality textiles, automobile parts and so on. In 1970s, 80s and early 90s, Bollywood was very popular in Nigeria before Nigeria Nollywood came <g data-gr-id="43">on-board</g> and eclipsed foreign films yet Bollywood still have large followers in Nigeria especially in the northern part of the country. <g data-gr-id="46">Education</g> sector is not left out, many young Nigerians are trooping to India to acquire knowledge especially in <g data-gr-id="47">medical</g> field, fashion, film production, information communication technology and journalism.
Some industrialised nations like China, Bangladesh, Turkey, Italy, Pakistan and so on has discovered the booming informal sector of the Nigeria economy which the government of India has not discovered. There are lots of business opportunities in the informal sector in Nigeria which many Indians are tapping into, especially in Nigeria markets where Indians are directly into importation and retailing of natural and artificial hairs, textiles and garments, automobile parts, hospital <g data-gr-id="58">equipments</g>. This informal sector has contributed directly or indirectly to the Indian economy. So many Indian companies and many small scale businesses in India depends heavily on the patronage they are getting from their Nigerian customers that troops to India on <g data-gr-id="57">daily</g> basis to buy their stocks. No government can create enough jobs for her citizens, secondly no government neglects the informal sector.
Recently, Nigeria business community that depends on Indian products suddenly see India as <g data-gr-id="65">unfriendly</g> business destination because the process of obtaining <g data-gr-id="66">business</g> visa to India takes nothing less than two months. Out of <g data-gr-id="64">frustration</g> some prefers to source their stocks from China, Bangladesh, Vietnam and so on. Establishing <g data-gr-id="63">business</g> in India is not an easy task also, so many bridges to cross, extending a business visa is like climbing Mount Everest. Serious genuine entrepreneurs are discouraged with the none extension of business visas beyond one year. The Indians are very hospitable to foreigners. In every community, there are bad eggs, but generally, I would say the Indians are very hospitable toward Nigerians. There are mixed marriages between Nigerians and Indians so I think the relationship is good. The trade volume between the two countries is mostly done at the informal level. Although, we cannot quantify the trade figure, I would say it is in favour of Indians because Nigerians come here to buy products.
The new prime minister of India has proved to be a game changer and a bridge builder, he has brought lots of changes especially in the area of visa to selected nations, we are looking forward that the good gesture will be extended to African nations. The incoming president of Nigeria Major General Buhari (Rtd) is also a decisive and strong leader like Narendra Modi, we are looking forward that the meeting of the two great leaders will leave <g data-gr-id="74">a long lasting legacies</g> between the two great nations. Indo Nigeria chamber of commerce is long overdue and collaboration between Bollywood and Nollywood is also overdue. As a fashion <g data-gr-id="71">designer</g> I am looking forward to <g data-gr-id="70">design</g> <g data-gr-id="67">mind blowing</g> costumes for the first Bollywood and Nollywood film. I love India and Indians because they have shown me so much love. My son bears Rahul and my nice bears Priyanka, it is the demonstration of the love I have for India, for the opportunity they have given to me and some Nigerians in different fields like football and modelling. I prefer to be addressed as <g data-gr-id="68">Nigerian born</g> Indian fashion designer because India made me what I am today the same Nigeria has made so many Indians.