Nigeria on Monday expressed willingness to partner with the Islamic Republic of Iran in areas of assembling of automobiles, importation of tractors and agricultural equipment to ease farming.
The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs Sen. George Akume made this known when he received Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Nigeria, Amb. Mohammad Alibak in his office.
A statement issued by Mrs Osagie Julie, Deputy Director Press, Special Duties office, on Monday in Abuja, quoted Akume as saying that the initiative of acquisition of the automobiles would also ease the transportation needs of Nigerians.
Akume, who welcomed the partnership noted that the initiative was timely, even as the Federal Government was in the process of procuring vehicles for Nigerians through cooperative societies domiciled in the Ministry of Agriculture.
The minister informed the Iranian Ambassador that the plan was part of government’ strategy to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
Akume appreciated the resilience of the Iranian state which had recorded breakthroughs in the area of technology.
“I will welcome the exchange of programmes between both countries and hope that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed in the nearest future to seal the cooperation for Nigeria to tap from Iran’s expertise, ” Akume said.
Earlier, Amb. Alibak, commented the Federal Republic of Nigeria for maintaining its good international relationship with Iranian Government.
He noted Nigeria as the most important country in West Africa and the entire continent as a whole where business could thrive.
According to him, the Islamic Republic of Iran has a leading manufacturing industries in the fields of automobiles, transportation, construction materials, information technology and petrochemicals, hence the need for partnership with the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Iran has a long history of bilateral relations with Nigeria since 1960.
Both countries are members of the Non- Aligned Movement, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the D-8 Organization for economic cooperation ((Developing 8) and most recently the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).
The trade volume between Nigeria and Iran is estimated at 50 million dollars annually.