NEW DELHI (Agencies): India’s concerted diplomatic efforts over the past few years to enhance defense collaborations with African nations have yielded significant results.

In a groundbreaking development, India and Nigeria have entered into a historic $1 billion agreement aimed at bolstering Nigeria’s defense industry. Nigeria has expressed a keen interest in acquiring Indian Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, drones, and armored personnel carriers as part of this agreement.

The agreement received approval from Nigerian President Bolar Ahmed Tinubu and was formally signed between Nigeria’s Defense Corporation (DICON) and the Military-Industrial Complex of the Indian government.

Under this collaboration, India’s Military-Industrial Complex will assist DICON in achieving a 40 percent level of self-reliance in the manufacturing of military hardware by 2027. Reports from the Military Africa web portal indicate that DICON has faced challenges in meeting the requirements of the Nigerian military due to financial constraints and persistent mismanagement, hindering its ability to produce significant weaponry. The agreement will offer financial support and expertise to revamp DICON and enable it to produce a wide range of military products, encompassing firearms, ammunition, armored vehicles, and advanced communication systems. By reducing its reliance on defense imports, this agreement will allow the Nigerian government to strengthen its domestic defense capabilities.

Additionally, it will enable India to maintain its influence in a region where China has made substantial inroads.

During his visit to India, President Tinubu held discussions with Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh. Ajuri Ngelale, the spokesperson for Nigeria’s President, revealed, “We are having discussions for defense deals worth over US $1 billion to boost the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria for the achievement of 40 percent self-sufficiency with the cooperation of the Indian government.” The agreement was formalized as part of President Tinubu’s ongoing visit to India, during which he engaged with Indian business leaders as part of the Nigeria-India presidential roundtable and conference aimed at mobilizing international funding for infrastructure development.

By Media

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