Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, has called on the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to invest in power and agriculture sectors.
Abubakar made the call when Mr. Morteza Zarchi, the Ambassador of Iran in Nigeria, paid her a courtesy visit in Abuja on Friday.
“I know that Iran is advanced in nuclear power.
“We can use this as an alternative source for energy and train our unemployed people in areas where we can be able to generate or manufacture nuclear power.
“Agriculture is also another area we want to diversify our economy; we need tractors, we need our young people to be able to manufacture tractors here,” she said.
Abubakar said that other areas the two countries could collaborate were in mines and steel as well as the textile industry.
According to her, the Nigeria has caplets but needed more training for the youths to be able to do better.
Abubakar said that although the two countries had been very good partners in the past, but the “relationship did not flow”.
“I am very happy to restart the relationship between Iran and Nigeria; we have been very good partners in the past, but somehow the relationship has not been flowing as it’s supposed to.
“This is a situation the country wants to change and we believe we have what it takes to be competitive in any international market,” she said.
Abubakar said that the renewal of the relationship could only be done through engagements and dialogues.
She said the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) the ambassador mentioned as a particular area of intervention they want to come in was important to the current government.
“SMEs is very key to us because this time we intend to work the talk when it comes to diversifying our economy,” Abubakar said.
She said the bilateral agreement ought to be signed to boost the partnership between the two countries.
Abubakar said that the industrial cooperate agreement had been signed, but there was a request for continued dialogue which had not been taking place to enhance the relationship.
In his speech, Zarchi said his country would educate and train Nigerians in the area of SMEs.
He also said Iran would collaborate with Nigeria in the areas of engineering services, agriculture and petrochemicals.
Zarchi said that there would be a business forum on Monday between the two countries and that 40 investors would be present to see areas of possible investment in Nigeria.
“We have many bilateral agreements we need to sign for the benefit of the countries,” he said.