The Ukrainian Government says it will initiate grain hubs in West Africa, particularly in Nigeria to strengthen the business relationship between the two countries.
This was revealed by The Ukrainian Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, Mykola Solskyi at a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama, and the Minister of Agriculture, Mahmoud Abubakar in Abuja.
He explained that Ukraine is interested and ready to develop grain hubs in Africa adding that, two days ago, Ukraine had negotiations in Dakar, Senegal, and the government is very happy that Nigeria is ready to consider such a possibility in Nigeria.
According to Solskyi: “Developing such hub will make it possible to bring high-quality grains to Nigeria, which will also influence positively the dynamics of prices in the country”.
“President of Ukraine supports this idea and Ukraine intends to develop hubs in two or three ports in West Africa”.
“Taking into consideration, the capacity and size of Nigeria, grain hub in the country is a priority number one”.
“If both countries manage to implement it, it will be a practical step towards business, reaching a new level”.
Solskyi noted that it was very important to develop healthy relations which have been created between Nigerian and Ukrainian businesses in the past ten years.
“Next month, grains from Ukraine will be arriving in Nigeria under the initiative called ‘Grain from Ukraine.’
“Despite the war, the Ukrainian food industry wants to have more closer relations with Nigeria”.
“And we are very thankful to you that your country is ready to develop this relation.
“I think that despite all the events going on in the world, our countries are fully ready to develop this cooperation,” Solskyi stated.
“The Ukrainian Government and the Ukrainian President are ready to pay big attention to the development”.
“We want to have regular contact every year on the level of ministers, not only of Ministers of Agriculture but other ministers as well”.
“And we will appreciate if your country is ready for developing more active relations,” Solskyi said.
Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mahmoud Abubakar, expressed gratitude to the Government of Ukraine saying that despite the war in the country, it still found time to extend the good gesture to Nigeria.
He said: “We thank you very much for that. But not only that, you also are planning to have a grain hub in Nigeria which we also appreciate.
“Nigeria is very willing and ready to provide the appropriate port for this grain hub in the country.
“I can assure you that the relationship between Nigeria and Ukraine will only improve. We have been having business, especially in the agricultural sector with Ukraine.
“I can say that 30 percent or more of our agricultural business are with Ukraine, especially in the area of wheat, in the area of fertilizer, and other grains.
“And this I can assure you that we will continue to try and improve on that relationship” Abubakar, therefore, said, the Lagos and Onne Port in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, were being considered as the proposed hubs.
In his remarks, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama said Nigeria cannot thank Ukraine enough that notwithstanding the situation Ukraine found itself, it was able to reach out a hand of friendship and support to, not just Nigeria, but other African countries.
“This demonstrates superhuman courage and we really admire, as well as generosity. So, we truly thank you enormously for this support”.