India to help Nigeria in planning, taxation

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On Board Prime Minister's Special Aircraft, Oct 16 (UNI) As part of efforts to step up cooperation with African countries, India has offered help to Nigeria in its planning process and structuring a taxation system.

Briefing newspersons on the outcome of the three-day visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the first high-level visit to the country in 45 years after Jawaharlal Nehru, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said India had agreed to set up a "Special Group" consisting of representatives from the Indian Planning Commission and the Economic Management Group of President Umaru Musa Yar' Adua to help Nigeria in its planning process and give shape to taxation structure, besides helping in education, human resource and infrastructure development.

Dr Singh, a renowned economist, has accepted the request of the Nigerian President to contribute his personal wisdom and experience for enriching the planning initiatives in the oil-rich African country.

Mr Sharma said the Special Group would have its first meeting in the first quarter of the next year.

Mr Yar' Adua had accepted the invitation of Dr Singh to visit New Delhi at a date convenient to both sides. "The visit is expected next year," he said.

Mr Sharma said Nigeria sought India's help to set up a major refinery there. Dr Singh had agreed to the request and the ONGC would accordingly participate in the venture.

He said India had already shown interest in acquiring new oils blocs. However, Nigeria made a request for joint ventures between Nigerian oil companies and Indian oil PSUs.

UNI

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