Nigeria’s state-owned national oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is looking to India in what seems like a major push in its diversification programme targeted at healthcare provision, it has emerged.
Meeting with Nagabushana Reddy, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja, Maikanti Baru, NNPC’s group managing director, called for deeper collaboration between the corporation and India in the provision of expertise and medical equipment that would help it revitalize its 52 clinics across the country.
Such a move is being interpreted as part of efforts by the NNPC to jump-start its diversification into healthcare business, according to a statement signed by Ndu Ughamadu, the group general manager, group public affairs division of the corporation.
Baru said successful cooperation with India in this area would help reduce the increasing trend of medical tourism from Nigeria to various countries.
Indeed, the state-owned oil company, according to Baru, was already discussing with some Indian health care providers to come into the country and help grow the capacities of its medical staff with the aim of putting in place world class health care facilities in the country.
He also used the opportunity to pitch participation of Indian oil and gas companies in the forthcoming marginal fields bid round, adding that their participation would further deepen the bilateral relations between Nigeria and India.
Baru noted that there existed a symbiotic commercial relationship between Nigeria and India which has led to the increase of daily crude oil supply to India to 30,000 barrels per day in 2017.
“We recognize that India is one of the highest off-takers of Nigeria’s crude oil and we are ready to ensure that this harmonious economic relationship is sustained going forward,” Baru said.
In his response, the High Commissioner, Reddy, said India and Nigeria had very high bilateral relations adding that India was ready to further expand the diverse collaboration in economic, trade, commerce and security.
He stated that India was one of the highest importers of Nigeria’s crude oil and applauded the NNPC for keeping to the terms of the contracts with three of its indigenous companies, stressing that the visit was to further consolidate the gains of previous engagements.