The Federal Government has solicited for the support of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s vote for Nigerian Candidate, Dr. (Mrs.), Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela for the post of Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) ahead of the forth-coming election.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo CON, made this known when the Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Mohammed Alibak, paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja.
The Minister stated that Nigeria would rely on Iran’s support for the election of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela as the next DG for WTO, stressing that if elected it would be the first time an African will occupy the position since its establishment on 1st January 1995.
Otunba Adebayo further said the Bilateral Trade Agreements (BTA) earlier signed between the two countries in 2001, Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) in 2008, the establishment of Nigeria-Iran Joint Commission in 2004 and Iran Chamber, Industry, Mines and Agriculture in 2016 should be sustained.
He assured the Ambassador that Nigeria will work with the Islamic Republic of Iran to improve on the current low trade volumes as both countries have great potential that can be leveraged on considering the fact that the two countries are oil dependent economies.
“We can also share knowledge and best practices on economic diversification and our national development goals as Buhari’s led Administration is pushing to diversify the economy into the non-oil sector through various initiatives and a strategic partnership in the industrialization of key sectors that can boost efforts towards export of Iran and Nigeria” Adebayo added .
The Minister called on Iranian Investors to come to Nigeria to invest in the numerous Export Processing Zones (EPZs), in the country in view of the various incentives available to investors and to pursue partnerships in our economic development initiatives in sectors such as; Fertilizer Production, Tractor Assembly, Persian Rug Manufacturing, Mine and Steel Industries as well as Garment Production.
Earlier, the Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Mohammed Alibak said that Iran is willing to help Nigeria in the areas of technology development, water supply and engineering among others, adding that an invitation will be sent to the Minister to visit the Agricultural Industrial Machinery Show in Iran.
Amb. Alibak further stressed on the need to have a joint commission between the two countries as Nigeria is one of the best country in Africa in terms of trade with Iran.
For: DD /Head, Press and Public Relations Unit