04 September 2015, Lagos – Nigeria and India volume of trade has risen to N70 billion, with renewed interest in agriculture, Small Medium Enterprises, SMEs development and medicine.
The Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. A. R Ghanashyyam, revealed this at the launch of Bajaj Electric Limited home appliances section entering into the Nigerian market with about 30 of their 200 brands in Lagos.
The commissioner also said about 250 Indian companies are already operating in Nigeria with trade volume at N70billion, but wants the businesses between Nigeria and India more diversified. According to him “With these we want the businesses diversified; we do not want it to be one way business with Nigeria. We are looking at the areas of agriculture, small industries and vision to help in the Health and education sectors. We are looking forward at setting up specialist hospitals and schools here in Nigeria.”
The commissioner further stated: “we are trying to do some kind of leg work, we are trying to do one major eye and cancer specialist hospital in Abuja, then you would not send any patient to India. We are working on it.”
On how much Nigerians spend on medical tourism in India, he however could not provide the statistics, but stated: “I can tell you this is much, if they (Nigerians) can go to Europe and America; they will spend 10 times more.”
“Every patient that goes to India spends about $4,000 on airfare, and that does not go to India, it goes to owner countries of the airlines. So we are losing a lot of money, and then if we can set up hospitals in India, for example, our medical tourism will develop and Indian doctor overseas will return. If we bring them back we will become a medical tourism destination.”
Continuing, he said: “there are more than 20 smaller hospitals that will come up in Nigeria, 20 to 50 bed hospitals; we are interested in a model that will take over rural Nigeria, for patients who cannot afford high cost medication.”
*Princewill Ekwujuru – Vanguard