Manmohan, first Indian PM to visit Nigeria in 45 years

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New Delhi, Oct 9: When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leaves for Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, on October 14, he will become the first Indian Prime Minister to land there since Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's historic visit to the African nation in 1962. Singh is expected to hold extensive discussion with Nigerian President Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar'Adua on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues. He will also be addressing a joint session of the Nigerian Parliament.

With Nigeria being India's largest trading partner in Africa, and one of the largest crude oil suppliers, the agenda for the talks will focus on enhanced energy cooperation, as various Indian projects (both public and private) in the crucial oil sector are at different stages there.

Public sector major National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) is currently negotiating with the Nigerian government to explore new areas of energy cooperation in the country.

The bilateral trade between India and Nigeria accounted for 7.9 billion dollars in 2006-07.

During the two-day visit, several MoUs related to energy and defence cooperation are expected to be signed by the two countries

India, which has long-standing military ties with Nigeria, has been involved in training of Nigerian defence personnel. The Indian Army has also set up military training institutions there.

Singh's visit will be a delight for over 25 thousand Indian expatriates living there, who would be getting to witness the visit of Indian Prime Minister after more than four decades.

ANI>

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