18 April 2012, Sweetcrude, TEHRAN – ON her second day visiting the Iranian capital, Viola Onwuliri, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Iran’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce, Mehdi Ghazanfari, signed several documents to increase the scope of economic relations between the two countries.
The main topic of discussion was how Nigeria could tap the expertise of Iran in removing oil and petrochemical subsidies and diversifying its government’s revenues.
Nigeria witnessed national protests early this year when the government removed subsidies on fuel and Nigerians were outraged as petrol prices more than doubled.
Other areas where the Nigerian minister sought assistance from Iran are in financial banking and insurance and the transfer of commodities through transportation and communication.
Ghanzanfari told the visiting Nigerian minister that Iran was ready to train Nigerian students and professors in the fields of petrochemical, fertilizers, agriculture and the sales of these products.
Nigeria currently produces around 2.5 million barrels of oil per day, with 40% going to private businesses and only 60% to the government.