The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Nigeria, His Excellency, Morteza Rahimi Zarchi, has disclosed the willingness of the Asian country to establish general bilateral business relationship with the Enugu State Government, especially in the area of rendering medical services.Ambassador Zarchi, who spoke at the Government House, Enugu, when he paid a courtesy call on the governor, in company with the management of FIT Consult Limited, stated that his delegation were in Enugu on a feasibility study of establishing an Iranian Hospital, modeled after the one in Dubai, at the ongoing Heliu Residences project in Enugu as well as general bilateral cooperation with the state government.
The Iranian Ambassador said that his country’s decision to seek bilateral cooperation with Enugu State Government was because of the state’s historical background, its natural resources, the geographical location, which he said links other neighboring states, the international airport as well as the existing peace in the state. He added that there are many Iranian companies into drugs manufacturing especially herbal medicines which are very useful in treating diabetes and other diseases, revealing that they are willing to bring the drugs to Nigeria or even import the raw materials into the country for the final production. “It is worthy of note, Your Excellency, that about 90% of drugs and pharmaceuticals (used in the Iranian Hospitals) are manufactured inside Iran, which the world is using at the moment”, the Ambassador said. Responding, Gov. Ugwuanyi who thanked the Iranian Ambassador for his kind words and promises, stated that his administration is fully committed to the sustenance of an environment that is conducive for businesses and other developmental initiatives in the state as demonstrated by its continued investments in security and development of critical infrastructure. The governor noted that the government also has in place, necessary legislations, institutional frameworks, favourable tax regime and special incentives that would make it easier and more convenient for the operation of businesses in the state. He added that the state currently has on the block for commercialization or privatization, over 17 potentially lucrative State-owned companies and industries dealing in diverse areas of business and production. While expressing delight at the interest shown by Iran in establishing a world class medical facility in the Heliu Estate under the International brand name, Iranian Hospital, Gov. Ugwuanyi disclosed that “there are many other areas of potential partnership and cooperation between your country and Enugu State cutting across various sectors of the economy”.
“As Your Excellency may know, the State is richly endowed with copious investment opportunities especially in agriculture and agro-allied enterprises and in the extraction and processing of such minerals as coal, limestone, clay, oil, gas etc all of which are found in very abundant quantities in the state. “The presence of an international (passenger and cargo) airport and the establishment of a Free Trade Zone in Enugu as well as the urbanization initiatives of the government, provide a further boost to the economic potentials and profile of the state.
“We therefore seek the assistance of your Embassy to enlighten business organizations in Iran as to these opportunities and to also, facilitate their entry into Enugu State as investors”, the governor said.