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Ex-Nigerian president to visit India for five days

New Delhi, Mon, 12 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar.12 (ANI): Former Nigerian president Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo will undertake a five-day visit of India from March 12 to 16. He will be accompanied by a nine-member delegation that includes prominent Nigerian businessmen.


A Ministry of External Affairs release said that Gen. Obasanjo will call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and will deliver a speech on "Indo-African Partnership in Development" organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs.


One of the main aims of Gen. Obasanjo's visit is to encourage greater bilateral economic synergy, the release said.


Gen. Obasanjo served as Nigeria's president twice during 1976-79 and 1999-2007 respectively. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Nigeria's ruling Peoples' Democratic Party.


As a senior African statesman, he has often been called upon to play critical roles in crisis situations in the continent and beyond.


Recently, he was in Senegal to observe Presidential elections following his appointment by the African Union and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).


In 1997, India bestowed the "Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development" to Gen. Obasanjo. He was the Chief Guest at India's Republic Day celebrations in 2000.


The visit is yet another affirmation of the close and substantive ties between India and Nigeria.


Bilateral trade between the two countries exceeded 13 billion dollars in 2010-11 and is expected to cross 19 billion dollars this financial year.


Over 100 Indian companies have a presence in Nigeria where around 35,000 Indians are currently resident.


Nearly 33,000 Nigerians visited India in 2011, with business and medical tourism as the main drivers. (ANI)


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