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Rajnath begins military outreach to Africa, attends swearing-in ceremony of Nigeria President-elect Tinubu

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is currently on a three-day visit to Nigeria (Image courtesy: Indian Embassy in Abuja)

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh attended the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect of Nigeria Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Abuja on Monday.

In addition to senior officials of the Ministry of Defence, the Defence Minister’s delegation to Nigeria included top executives of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), the Ministry of Defence said in an official release.

These executives met with military and government personnel from Nigeria in order to determine what needs they had that Indian defence businesses could meet. To improve cooperation, B2B meetings were organised with Nigerian businesses.

Besides high-level political representation from countries across the African continent, including several Heads of State, India was among the select non-African nations that were represented in the ‘swearing-in ceremony’ at the Ministerial level, reflecting the high priority and strength of our bilateral relations with Nigeria, according to the official press release of Ministry of Defence.

The Bangladeshi Minister for Local Government, Rural Development, and Cooperatives, Tazul Islam, who was also in Abuja for the swearing-in event, also met with Rajnath Singh for a brief period of time.

The two leaders expressed the commitment of their respective Governments to deepening and extending the bilateral ties during the meeting, which was a testament to the goodwill between India and Bangladesh, the press release read.

Notably, this is the first-ever visit of an Indian Defence Minister to Nigeria.

The Defence Minister’s visit to the West African nation is seen as an important landmark in building the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been sworn in as the country’s new President despite political unrest and a legal challenge to his election from the country’s opposition, CNN reported.

After being sworn into office, Tinubu has become the 16th president of Nigeria.

At the 5,000-seat Eagle Square location in the nation’s capital Abuja, the ceremony was held under extremely strict security in front of foreign leaders and dignitaries like President Kagame of Rwanda and Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, according to CNN.

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