India now Nigeria's biggest crude oil buyer

India has overtaken the US as the top buyer of Nigerian crude oil, a top Indian diplomat here has

Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria Mahesh Sachdev said recent statistics showed that India had been buying more of Nigeria's crude than the US over the last three months.

"India will continue to cooperate with Nigeria to improve its economy and it will also assist the country in capacity building of workers in both the public and private sectors," Sachdev said, during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Niger state in northern Nigeria last Wednesday.

On the bilateral trade, he said the present figure stands at USD 10 billion, even as the total investment of India in Nigerian economy could be valued at USD 16.6 billion.

Sachdev disclosed that India would partner with the government of Kano state to establish a film city and also collaborate with the Niger state government to establish health care facilities as well as improve agriculture.

He also promised assistance in the state on the training of young people who wish to embark on vocational education. Governor of the state Babangida Aliyu commended India for being one of the few countries that had kept faith with strengthening the work force.

According to him, this has helped Nigeria to develop in every ramification. India has recently reduced its dependence on Iranian oil in the wake of the US and European sanctions on the import of oil from the Islamic Republic.