Iranian Vice President for Economic Affairs Mohammad Nahavandian, in a meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, highlighted that the two sides can increase economic relations in areas of petrochemicals, energy, agriculture and industry, adding that Tehran is willing to help Abuja with investment and technology transfer.
Speaking during the bilateral meeting with Buhari held on Friday in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on the sidelines of the 5th Summit of Gas Exporting Countries Forum, Nahavandian referred to the vast potentials of expanding ties between the two countries, saying, “A lot can be done. We can do miracles. We have the vision.”
He suggested four major areas – petrochemical, power, irrigation agriculture and industry – for economic cooperation between the two sides.
Nahavandian also offered cooperation in counter-terrorism, citing the routing of ISIL terrorists in Iraq and Syria as major contributions to the global anti-terrorism efforts.
He used the meeting to brief the Nigerian president on the political and security situation in the Middle East region.
Buhari, for his part, said he was impressed with the speed in the transformation of the Iranian oil and gas industry from what it used to be when he served as Nigeria’s petroleum minister in the 1970s.
He said, “I will work very hard toward the joint commission. We will go back and identify sectors of common interest.”
“In particular, we are interested in how you utilized your gas, with 95 percent of your national population wired to gas,” he added.
“The evolution of our gas industry is too slow. We are still flaring gas. I will work with you on how to harness and utilize our gas. I am very impressed,” the Nigerian president noted.
President Buhari asked to be given up to the second quarter of 2020 on the modality of the joint commission.
He noted that Iran also flared gas in the 70s, expressing his delight that the fires had all been put out.
Buhari expressed optimism that Nigeria would soon attain the same feat.
According to him, the future of oil and gas is in value addition, extolling Iranians for attainments in oil and gas, electricity generation, agriculture and petrochemical industry.
Early in March, former Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi wished success for the president of Nigeria who won re-election for his second term, offering congratulations to the African country on holding election successfully.
Qassemi, in a statement, wished success for Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria who managed to be re-elected as the president of his country after securing the majority of the votes.
He also expressed hope that Tehran’s ties with Abuja would further develop in light of the results of the recent election in the West African state.
Early in February, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in a meeting with new Malian ambassador to Tehran, said that Iran will increase cooperation with African countries, voicing his country’s readiness to expand medical supports to poor countries.
Rouhani stressed that Iran is willing to deepen relations with African countries, including Mali, adding, “there are good opportunities for development of relations between Iran and Mali in economic fields."
Rouhani said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to develop scientific and academic, as well as agricultural relations with African countries”.
In a related front, earlier in 2017, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stressed Iran's permanent attention to the African continent to broaden ties.