The Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Alfonso Sebastian de Erice, disclosed this while on a visit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, at the National Assembly.
While appreciating existing bilateral relations between Spain and Nigeria, Erice expressed readiness of his country to help Nigeria to boost local production of crude oil by partnering to transform existing refineries in the country.
He also said that Spain was prepared to partner Nigeria in agricultural development.
“Spain is one of the partners of Nigeria, the first or the second best client; we buy 6.5 billion Euros worth of oil and gas.
“We are very happy with the exchanges that we have, and we need the oil but we want to diversify because we think it is very important that our economic relations should not be only in gas and petrol.
“We want to cooperate with you in agriculture; we have very good agricultural industry. We have comparative advantage in tourism, manufacturing.
“ We have several treaties that allow us to work here. It is a domain that we will have to explore.
‘’For us, the oil business is important because we need it but we want to diversity and I know that Nigerian authorities also want to diversify,” he said.
On terrorism in the country, the envoy said that his country was ready to provide support towards combating the menace, adding that Spain and Nigeria had signed several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on training on anti-terrorism.
Responding, Dogara said that Nigeria appreciated Spain’s offer to help in fighting terrorist, noting that the country had experience of insurgency as it had faced and overcame such problems in the past.
He said that Nigeria had a lot in common with Spain and called for further assistance to enable Nigeria to diversify its economy.
In a related development, Dogara pledged support for the development of tourism, mineral resources and other sectors in Cross River.
He made the pledge when the Cross River Caucus in the House paid him a courtesy visit.
The speaker, however, urged the lawmakers to shun personal interests as there was the need to compensate those who suffered during the electioneering campaign by promoting pro-people agenda which included employment generation and security. (NAN)