Nigeria Could Link Iran, West Africa

Nigeria Could Link Iran, West AfricaNigeria Could Link Iran, West Africa

Nigeria can serve as a link between Iran and West Africa to help boost bilateral trade after the lifting of economic sanctions against Tehran, which is expected in the coming months, Iran’s foreign minister said.

Speaking at a joint press conference after a meeting with his Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama in Tehran on Monday, Mohammad Javad Zarif added, “Good prospects lie ahead of our banking and trade cooperation [with other countries] after sanctions are removed and Nigeria can help connect us to the West African region.”

Iran will receive sanctions relief after meeting its commitments under a historic nuclear deal it concluded in July with P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany), IRNA reported.

The prospect of an end to sanctions, which will give Tehran access to billions of dollars in frozen assets abroad and open up its vast untapped market to overseas businesses, has prompted numerous foreign delegations to visit Iran since the July accord, seeking a share of the high-potential market.

Zarif noted that there is great potential for expansion of Tehran-Abuja cooperation, including in areas related to knowledge-based services and sharing of modern technologies.

“Iran and Nigeria can help create ample scope for the two sides’ businessmen and entrepreneurs,” he said.

Onyeama stressed the need for more consultations between the two countries with the aim of identifying potential areas for improved collaboration.

“We are ready to help increase economic and cultural cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Nigeria’s top diplomat said.