Despite the ongoing war with Russia, the Ukrainian government on Wednesday expressed readiness to set up grain hubs in Nigeria and other African countries to boost bilateral ties.
This became known when Ukrainian Food and Agrarian Policy Minister Mykola Solskyi led a delegation to Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama and Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Mohammad Abubakar in Abuja. .
Onyeama praised Ukraine for the grain donation, adding that the gesture came even as the country is still at war.
He noted: “Despite the situation your country is in, you can extend a hand of friendship not only to Nigeria but to other African countries. This shows superhuman courage and we really admire your generosity, we thank you for this support.”
Onyeama, however, regretted that some of the victims of the war in Ukraine are a large number of Nigerian students, whose studies have been interrupted by the war.
He added: “You have developed real expertise in many disciplines and Nigerian students are the beneficiaries. We can continue to strengthen relations between our two countries and our two peoples. We will do everything possible at the multilateral level to bring the war to a very quick end.”
Also at the meeting, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Abubakar said Nigeria is very willing and ready to provide the appropriate ports for the grain hub in the country.
Abubakar stated, “We appreciate him and congratulate him because despite the war, he still found time to extend a gesture of friendship to Nigeria and also donated grain. I can assure you that relations with Ukraine will improve, we have had business with Ukraine, especially in the agricultural sector and I can say that more than 30% of our agricultural business is with Ukraine, especially in the area of wheat, fertilizers and other grains. . And this, I can assure you, will continue to improve our relationship.”
Abubakar added that the purpose of the grain centers is to have a center where Ukraine would bring grain and Nigeria would help other African countries, which would be useful in an emergency and even for donations to other countries.
The Agriculture Minister noted that Ukraine had the technology and know-how to help Nigeria in wheat production, stressing that capacity building will be part of the relationship that will produce a win-win situation.
For his part, the Ukrainian minister said that grains from his country will arrive in Nigeria next month under the initiative called ‘Grains from Ukraine’.
He explained: “Despite the war with Russia, the Ukrainian food industry wants to have closer relations with Nigeria and we are very grateful to them that their country is ready to develop these relations.
“Despite all the events happening in the world, our countries are ready to develop this cooperation. The Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian president are willing to pay close attention to this development. We want to have regular contacts every year not only with our agriculture ministers but also with other ministers.
“The development of such centers will make it possible to bring high-quality beans to your country and will positively influence prices in your country. Ukraine intends to develop two or three hubs in Africa and considering the capacity of his country, the grain hub in his country is the number one priority. If we implement it well, it would be a practical step for companies to reach a new level.”