The Government of India and Nigeria have concluded arrangements to sign  a bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) before the end of next week.

The agreement is expected to ease the problems faced by travellers to and from both countries with the planned introduction and commencement of direct flights.

The Indian High Commissioner Designate, Mr. Abhay Thakur disclosed this on Thursday while speaking during the Celebration of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and World Hindi Day in Abuja.

Thakur expressed optimism that prospects of both economies would be far more exciting considering that Nigeria, as the largest economy in Africa and the most populous country in Africa is currently India’s highest priority on the continent.

He said, despite the huge base of Indian investment in Nigeria worth over $10 billion, there was a dire need to take the engagements between both nations to the next level.

Thakur said the next level can be achieved through greater developmental assistance such as the soft line of credit which would enable Nigerians to access Indian loan facilities at a very concessional rate of 1.75 percent.

“There is also some pending agreements. We look forward to the signing of the Air Services Agreement with Nigeria next week when the Honourable Minister of Aviation will be travelling to India.

“They shall be having, hopefully, what I hope will be the final round of negotiations on the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement at the end of January. And I think with this very foundational agreements, our trade investment cooperation will get a huge boost.

“So, we have three things: Air Services, Trade and Investment Promotion through Double Taxation Avoidance and India’s Developmental Assistance Package,” the envoy added.