The Russo-Ukrainian war which was sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has caused a major global food crisis, affecting the global economic outlook. In spite of the war, the Ukrainian government has revealed its intention to establish grain hubs in Nigeria and other African countries, in a bid to boost its bilateral ties. This was expressed when the Ukrainian Minister for Agrarian Policy and Food, Mykola Solskyi led a delegation to Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Geoffrey Onyeama and Mohammed Abubakar respectively, in Abuja.
Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs commended the Ukrainian government’s gesture of donating grains, even in the wake of a critical war situation. He stated that regardless of the dire condition, Ukraine being able to extend friendship gestures to African countries including Nigeria was a demonstration of the country’s courage and generosity. Whilst thanking the Ukrainian government, Onyeama pointed that a huge number of Nigerian students had become victims of the war and their studies, now interrupted by the unfortunate events.
Abubakar promises an improved Nigeria-Ukraine relationship.
He further noted that while the Ukrainian students had established specialization in numerous disciplines that male Nigerian students had benefitted from, the Nigeria-Ukraine relations could be further enhanced. The Foreign Affairs minister also promised that Nigeria would do its best at the multilateral level to ensure that the war ends as soon as possible. At this same meeting, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Abubakar indicated that the Nigerian government was ready to put measures in place for the success of this project, including the provision of appropriate ports for the grain hub.
Abubakar also appreciated the Ukrainian government for donating grains to Nigeria and other African countries, even in their time of crisis. He assured them that the relationship between Nigeria and Ukraine would continually improve, as businesses with Ukraine had been growing, especially in the agricultural sector. Abubakar further indicated that at least 30 percent of Nigeria’s businesses in the agricultural market had been with Ukraine, especially in the areas of wheat, fertilizers and grains.
Ukraine to assist Nigeria in advancing the production of wheat.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development again noted that the grain hubs would be put in place by the federal government to serve a purpose as the center for Ukraine to bring in its grains, with Nigeria helping other African countries out on the long stretch. This, he stated would be immensely useful in emergency cases and for donation to other countries. He also mentioned that Ukraine could be of immense help to helping Nigeria boost the technology development in the agricultural sector.
It was noted Ukraine possesses the technology and knowledge to assist Nigeria in advancing its wheat production and stressed that this capacity building would be a major benefit of the relationship with Ukraine. The Ukrainian Minister, on his own part, noted that the grains to be donated would arrive in Nigeria in the next month, under the initiative of “Grains from Ukraine”. He added that despite the crisis that the country was facing, the Ukrainian food industry was willing to build a sustainable relationship with Nigeria.
Ukraine to build 3 hubs in Africa with Nigeria’s project, a top priority.
Continuing on he thanked the Nigerian government for their readiness to support the initiative and build a sustainable relationship with Ukraine and pointed out that the Ukrainian government was solely ready to pay attention to this development. He also expressed their wish to have regular contacts with Nigeria, not only through the agricultural industry but all industries. He asserted that the creation of these hubs would make the process of quality grains into Nigeria easier. He revealed that Ukraine’s goal was to build two or three hubs in Africa, with the Nigeria’s project the top priority. He noted that success in implementing this hub would be a major step towards the businesses between both countries.
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