Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Country, Iran Open Discussion On Nuclear Power

The third session of the Nigerian-Iran Joint Commission opened yesterday in Abuja with an agreement between the two parties to enter into discussion on nuclear power for peaceful purposes, oil and transportation.

Declaring open the meeting, Nigeria's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Tijani Kaura, said that relations between Iran and Nigeria had tremendous potentials and opportunities for mutual benefit in several areas such as oil and gas development and renewable sources of energy.

His words: "The relations between Iran and Nigeria had tremendous potentials and opportunities for mutual benefit in several areas such as oil and gas development and renewable sources of energy.

"Other areas include nuclear energy for peaceful uses, human capital development and training in handicrafts and carpet weaving, including skills acquisition for small scale enterprises and agro-allied industries.

"This meeting should adopt imaginative and constructive strategies and indeed an action plan for the speedy implementation of decisions taken at the two previous sessions of the commission, including those that will be taken at the end of the current session."

According to him, the objective was to identify and remove the obstacles that had stood in the way of the implementation of agreed decisions of previous sessions.

Also speaking, Nigeria's Under secretary for African and Asian Affairs, Ambassador Chike Anigbo, said that the commission was lagging behind in concretising agreements reached in the last sessions.

"Areas like the Bilateral Air Services Agreement needed to be straightened out to improve the development of air transport between the two countries.

"There would be need to finalise already pending agreements rather than creating new ones," he said.

The leader of the Iranian delegation, Mr. Mohammadali Zeyghami and Deputy Head of Marketing and Trade of Iranian Ministry of Commerce, said Nigeria was strategic to Iran, adding that the commission would assess the investment opportunities in both countries with a view to strengthening the economic relations between the countries.

He however, pointed out that Iran would also engage Nigeria in negotiations in areas such as maritime and merchant shipping, radio and television network, human resources and manpower development, as well as customs.

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