Many Nigerians leave Nigeria to start small businesses in other countries. But not in India. Although the two countries have bilateral relations describes as being on the level of a strategic partnership, problems concerning the Nigerian community in India hindering India’s relations with its largest trading partner in Africa. Nigeria’s high commissioner claims Nigerians are not allowed to start businesses in India even though Indians runs restaurants and shops all over Nigeria, reports The New Indian Express.
“Indian immigration is not being too helpful in terms of arrivals of Nigerians in India. We facilitate Indians going to Nigeria,” Ndubuisi Vitus Amaku, High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in India, complained to The New Indian Express.
He added: “All over Nigeria, there are Indian restaurants and shops. But here, Nigerians are not allowed to start businesses. The regulations here are too stringent even for petty businesses.”
Also Nigerian banks, which operate in many parts of the world, have not been able to establish a foothold in India.
“Nigerian’s living here are even unable to open an account, so how can they start a business?,” Amaku asked.
The Nigerian community in India, living in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Jaipur, is estimated to be around 10,000.
According to official figures nearly 40,000 Nigerians obtained Indian visas during 2012 with 20 percent of them being students coming to India for higher education.
The actual numbers registered with the high commission are much lower, however, and this partly points to the plight of Nigerians in India. “Most of them are unable to start even small businesses like barber’s or food shops because of local laws. Many Nigerians in India end up overstaying their visas and unable to pay the penalty, fall into the clutches of the law or become easy prey for criminals,” reports The New Indian Express.
There are more than 500 Nigerians were in various jails across India.