Olusegun Awolowo, the Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council has called on Nigerian business community to take advantage of $50 billion business opportunities in Iran.
Awolowo made the call on Wednesday at the ongoing 1st Iran solo exhibition holding in Lagos.
He said the volume of trade between the two countries could grow from $50 million to $500 million annually if the opportunities that existed were harnessed.
He said there were opportunities in the health, agriculture and power sectors.
The NEPC boss advised investors not to entertain fear, adding that the Islamic Republic of Iran was as safe as any other country.
Awolowo said developed countries and some African countries had symbiotic trade relationship in terms of value and volume.
He said: “Iran has been exporting and importing commodities to and from Europe and some African countries.
“There is a silver lining at the end of the tunnel.”
The executive director said the nation could not afford to continually rely on oil, whose price had fallen at the global market.
In his speech, Saeed Koozechi, the Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria, said the exhibition was to improve trade between the two countries.
Koozechi said: “It will help to identify each other and deepen the trade relations between the two countries.
“Right now, Iranian companies do not know the opportunities available in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is a very big market, especially with its big population and resources.
“This situation also applies to Nigerian businesses as they also know little about Iranian companies and the huge potential that the Iranian market offers.”
Koozechi said Iran, naturally endowed with crude oil, had reduced its dependence on oil revenue but concentrated on industry and other industry-related sectors of oil and gas.
Koozech added that Iran had achieved 95 per cent of self reliance in power sector and in 2014 exported $1 billion worth of electricity to neighbouring countries.
The ambassador said Iran exported petrochemicals worth $15 billion in 2014 and had steel industry capable of producing 17 million tonnes of steel annually.
He said: “I think that since Nigeria is going to establish plants for assemblage of cars, it is possible that Iranian companies in the automotive sector will also be thinking about coming over to Nigeria to establish plants as well.
“Iran’s export of the Pistachio fruits is valued at $1 billion annually while health is also a very important sector wherein many high tech drugs and pharmaceutical products can be produced.
“With regards to nuclear treatment, we can produce radiographic drugs for the treatment of health cases like cancer.”
Koozechi added that Iranian products could compete favourably in terms of price in the local market.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the exhibition, which started on June 9, will end on June 11.
Fifteen companies are showcasing Iranian made machines and various products at the exhibition.