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Indian community donates N100 million health facility – envoy

Mr Abhay Thakur, the High Commissioner of India to Nigeria, has said that Nigeria alone accounted for 20 per cent of India’s trade in Africa for the year 2018.

The Indian Community Organisation has donated a N100 million, fully furnished 50-bed hospital to the Lagos state government, Indian High Commissioner, Abhay Thakur, said on Saturday.

Mr. Thakur said the gesture is in line with the vision of Indian community and companies in Nigeria to consistently contribute to the welfare of Nigeria.

Speaking at the commemoration of the 16 Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PDB) convention, also known as India Diaspora Day in Abuja, Mr. Thakur said the Indian diaspora in Nigeria had adopted Nigeria as their second country, ”seeing India as the country of their birth, while Nigeria as the country of their work.”

“They have been constantly contributing not only to Indian welfare, but more importantly to Nigeria, which is our message to the Indian community that they must contribute to the country in which they live and perform their duties.

“And I am very happy to say most recently the Indian Community Organisation raised over N100 million and actually earmarked a 50-bed hospital and donated it, with the equipment and facilities there, to the department of health of Lagos, which has been highly appreciated”, the envoy said

Mr. Thakur said that to further strengthen bilateral ties, both countries could work out linkages between the Indian professional, cultural associations and Indian companies, and leading Nigerian businesses, in trade and investments.

In a virtual message, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, head of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) also reiterated the need for stronger collaborations between the diasporas of the two countries.

Ms. Dabiri-Erewa pledged that in fulfillment of its mandate, NIDCOM would ensure a powerful collaboration between the two counties.

“There should be a strong collaboration between the Indian diaspora and the Nigerians diaspora.

“Imagine the India diaspora excelling all over the world, it can’t be enough and you can be a Nigerian diaspora excelling all over the world and it still can’t be enough.

“But imagine both coming together, that will be a powerful collaboration and we can achieve it,” Ms. Dabiri-Erewa said.

Selva Elvis Panner, President, Indian Cultural Association, Abuja, said the association had continued to advocate Indian diaspora to be disciplined, law abiding and imbibe peaceful habits in the country.

Panner said the community would continue to contribute to the Nigerian society economically, socially and culturally, pointing at the PBD celebration as a fine indicator of the strengthening ties of the Indian community with their motherland.

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