India today hosted a webinar to boost defence cooperation with Nigeria, one of the African countries with highest military spending.
The theme of the webinar was “Indian Defence Industry Global Outreach for Collaborative Partnership: Webinar and Expo.” It was organized under the aegis of Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence through SIDM.
Nigeria has strong military cooperation with India’s neighbour China. It has recently purchased Wing Loong combat drones, VT4 main battle tanks, ST1 tank destroyers and artillery trucks from Beijing, besides JF-17 Thunder fighter jets which it developed in cooperation with Pakistan. Nigeria this year received A-29 Super Tucano aircraft and L-39ZA jets. It has also started domestic manufacturing of EZUGWU Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles and surveillance drones.
A report by Trading Economics predicts military expenditure of Nigeria to touch $1.9 billion by the end of 2020 and over $2 billion in the next year.
The webinar will India an opportunity to try and export its indigenously-developed Tejas jets, missiles, military vehicles and drones to Nigeria. It is the part of the series of webinars which are being organized with friendly foreign countries in order to boost defence exports and achieve defence export target of $5 billion in the next five years.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Additional Secretary (DP), MoD India, High Commissioner of India to Nigeria, Acting Head of Nigerian High Commission in India and Senior MoD officials from both sides participated in the webinar and spoke about warm, friendly and deep-rooted relations between both the nations.
Shri Sanjay Jaju, Additional Secretary (DP) stated that India has contributed significantly in capacity building of Nigerian Armed Forces since its formative years and Indian Government is ready to take this strategic partnership further in years to come through cooperation and co-production in Defence sector.
Various Indian companies such as BEL, BDL, GSL, HAL, TASL, Solar Industries, MKU, Mahindra Defence, L&T, Bharat Forge, Ashok Leyland, made company and product presentations on major platforms / equipment in the webinar.
The webinar was attended by more than 150 delegates and 100 virtual exhibition stalls have been set up in the Expo.