TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran and Nigeria have signed nine major memoranda of understanding (MoUs) to expand their economic and trade ties.
Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Reza Fatemi Amin and Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zubairu Dada watched over the signing of the cooperation documents between the two countries during an a meeting in Tehran.
Local media reports said that the MoUs covered various fields, including culture, tourism, petroleum, agriculture, sports and trade.
They said that the agreements had been reached as part of a sixth round of intergovernmental committee meetings held between officials of Iran and Nigeria.
Iranian trade minister said the value of bilateral trade between Iran and Nigeria has witnessed a 300% growth within the last 9 months of the past Persian Calendar year (ending on March 20).
The value of trade between Iran and Nigeria reached about 125 million dollars, witnessing a 300% growth in the last 9 months of the Iranian year 1400 (March 21, 2021 – March 20, 2022), Fatemi Amin said during a meeting with a high-level delegation from Nigeria, headed by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dada.
Fatemi amid said, however, that an annual bilateral trade figure of $125 million does not match the position of Iran and Nigeria as two major economies in their respective regions.
He said launching direct flight routes between Iran and Nigeria will be a first step in facilitating trade between the two countries.
Fatemi Amin said despite the good history of cultural cooperation between the two countries, unfortunately, the level of bilateral trade is not favorable and needs to be improved.
“The two countries are members of international organizations, including the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Islamic Development Bank, D8 Group, etc. which provides the necessary opportunities for further development of trade cooperation between Iran and Nigeria,” he noted.
The Iranian trade minister also pointed to the economic capacities of Iran and Nigeria and said their economies can complete each other.
Fatemi Amin also called for drafting a roadmap envisaging economic cooperation between Iran and Nigeria.
“As the first step to develop trade ties between Iran and Nigeria, it is necessary to facilitate the visits by Iranian and Nigerian businesses via establishment of direct flights between Iran and Nigeria,” the Iranian trade minister concluded.
Meanwhile, Nigerian Minister of State for Foreign Dada described the bilateral ties between Iran and Nigeria as “long-term and cordial”, saying that his country attaches significance to the expansion of ties with Iran.
“Iran and Nigeria have already had good cooperation at the bilateral and international levels. Nigeria attaches great importance to its relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran because there are good potentials and capacities that if used, can serve the interests of both countries,” Dada underscored.
He described the participation of the Nigerian delegation in the 6th Iran-Nigeria Joint Commission in Tehran as his country’s “commitment to the implementation of agreements and contracts” with Iran.
“Despite the cordial relations between the two countries, the bilateral economic relations are not satisfactory, Dada noted.
“During Iran-Nigeria Trade Summit, nine cooperation documents were signed between the two countries in various fields of culture, tourism, oil, agriculture, sports, and trade,” the Nigerian official said, expressing hope that the Sixth Iran-Nigeria Joint Commission can pave the way for boosting bilateral trade between Iran and Nigeria.
The high-ranking Nigerian delegation headed by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs also had separate meetings with top Iranian officials including the first Vice President Mohammad Mokhber.
The Nigerian official hailed the resumption of intergovernmental committee meetings between Iran and Nigeria after more than eight years.
He said the presence of the Nigerian trade delegation in Iran is a sign the African country is committed