In a bid to enhance the economic development profile of the Niger State, efforts are being made to partner the Republic of Iran in the area of agriculture. This much was revealed by the Governor of the State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, in Minna when the Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria, Morteza Zorchi, paid him a courtesy call.
It was revealed at the meeting that the move is hinged on the offer made by the Iranian Government to help develop the state’s agriculture and mineral resources sectors in the face of the fall in global oil price. Says the Governor; “…we are willing to partner with the people and government of Iran in developing our agriculture and the vast solid mineral deposits of the state. This will go a long way to improve our internally generated revenue”.
According to the Ambassador, Nigeria is a very important country to the Republic of Iran, hence the desire to expand the relationship between both countries, as well as with states in the country. “We share same misfortune with global oil crisis and we have to plan a good cooperation for mutual benefits. It’s unfortunate that the global oil crisis has created problems for Nigeria and Iran, and it’s natural for many oil producing countries to pay attention to diversifying their economy. Nigeria is fortunate to have many mineral deposits, arable land for agriculture and water in many territory to actualise the diversification plan and by extension boost the economy of Nigeria”, Zorchi noted.
Explaining what the state stands to gain from the partnership, Zorchi said, “Niger state can benefit from a relationship with the Province of Yazd in Iran. The province, like Niger State is rich in mineral resources and agriculture. Though a semi-arid area, the province has perfected greenhouse technology for agriculture, which can be of benefit to Niger state”.