By Chioma Iruke
The Nigerian Government has called for deepening of trade relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, made the call during a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, on the sidelines of the ongoing 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States.
Onyeama reminded the Iranian Foreign Minister that Nigeria and Iran have excellent relations, adding that Nigeria will be very happy under the cooperation and engagement of Amir-Abdollahian to improve even more, the relationship between both countries.
“We are two big countries in our respective sub-regions, but unfortunately, the level of trade is not what it should be. And we should do a lot more,” Onyeama said.
Onyeama further said Nigeria appreciated the certain intricacies of international financial systems and some of the obstacles.
“And we were trying to also discuss on how this should not interrupt our trade and how we can also work together to improve that aspect of our trade,” Onyeama added.
In his remarks, Amir-Abdollahian said envoys of both countries, with a great deal of hard work and focus and in all seriousness, were pursuing the further development of the relationship between Nigeria and Iran.
He added that exchanges between both countries were testament to the fact that both countries were very serious, focused and motivated to improve relations.
Amir-Abdollahian further said in order to realize the desired higher volume and commercial trade between both countries, Iran is seeking and studying how to best establish direct shipping route from Iran to Nigeria.
He said Iran had no issues or challenges whatsoever in completely removing any type of obstacle that may hamper the progress of trade between both countries.
Amir-Abdollahian disclosed that Iranian-based Mahan Airlines is fully willing, ready and capable to establish direct flights route from Tehran to Lagos.
He added that Iran stood ready and willing to swiftly review in depth, the previous agreements between both countries, activate them where possible and also establish as soon as possible, a joint economic commission in Tehran.