President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday hailed the strong relationship between Nigeria and India, especially economically, politically, and in the area of security.
Speaking while playing host to the Indian Minister of State for External and Parliamentary Affairs, Vellamvelly Muraleedharan, at the State House, Abuja, the president emphasised that the two countries have firm relationship economically, politically and in the area of security.
To buttress the cordial relationship between the two nations, President Buhari said the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) was established by Indians.
According to him, Nigeria and India must continue to build on the longstanding relationship to the benefit of both countries.
The president also went down memory lane on his one-year training in the country as a military officer.
The president recalled the 1973 visit, saying: “It was a very good experience. I think I was a Lt Colonel then, and I spent a year in India. We travelled and met international people from different countries. It became part of my success story in the military.”
Earlier in his speech, the minister, who is in the country to take part in the Nigeria-India Business Council meeting, described Nigeria as “centre of our engagement with Africa”.
He also said President Buhari was a “worthy alumnus of our Defence Services College”.
Muraleedharan brought greetings from the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, adding that Nigeria and India have robust relations in business, defence, education and many other areas.
He said India as the largest democracy in the world was willing to partner with Nigeria towards a successful general election in 2023.