The Federal Government of Nigeria has assured the Islamic Republic of Iran of her readiness to co-operate on issues of national development. This assurance was given by the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah when he received the Iranian Deputy Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade, His Excellency Muhammed Reza Fayyas who paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
Mr. Enelamah thanked him for taking the initiative to visit him, describing Iran as a very important country with a rich heritage and great economy. He said, the visit of President Muhammad Buhari to Iran, during the Gas Conference, demonstrates Nigeria’s readiness to partner with the country. The Honourable Minister emphasized the commitment of the current administration to diversify the economy beyond oil and gas to industrialization, trade and its willingness to work with other countries.
He said further that the government was creating enabling environment for business to thrive by solving the challenges of business. Enelamah added that the establishment of the Nigeria office on trade relationship and Nigeria Investment Promotion Council were done to foster the economy. He told the Iranian envoy that Federal Government would like to have vehicles manufactured in Nigeria. The Minister advised them to visit the Ministry of Solid Minerals and liaise with the Nigeria Automobile Council to get more information.
The visiting Minister disclosed that President of Iran His Excellency Hassan Riouhani had received the economic and trade programmes of his country with the aim of resuscitating and reorganizing them. He said that the purpose of his visit was to strengthen bilateral relationship and enhance the current volume of trade between Iran and Nigeria which stood at 10M US dollar.
He observed that the two countries have a lot in common adding that the large population of Nigeria makes her a veritable business destination especially with some positive developments in the country since the last two years.
Mr. Fayyaz called for co-operation between the two countries in the areas of trade, mining, pharmaceutical and automobile industries. He added that Islamic Republic of Iran currently produces a lot of drugs while the automobile industry which ranks 5th in the World has produced about 1.5 million vehicles of various range.
The Iranian Minister hinted that his country will participate fully in the next Nigeria International Trade Fair slated for Lagos and asked that a large space be allotted to his country to showcase her products. He hoped that Nigeria will reciprocate this by participating in similar trade fair in Iran. Mr Fayyaz also requested the Honourable Minister to visit Iran with businessmen and pressmen.
He was accompanied on the visit by the Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria, some other diplomats and business executives.
UMAR MARYAM YUSUF