Ukrainian Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, Mykola Solskyi has hinted on the Government’s readiness to establish grain hubs in West Africa, especially Nigeria.
This was disclosed during a bilateral meeting between the Ukrainian Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, Mykola Solskyi, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja.
Speaking during the meeting, Solskyi said Ukraine is interested and ready to develop grain hubs in Africa.
Solskyi also said two days ago, Ukraine had negotiations in Dakar, Senegal, adding that Ukraine is very happy that Nigeria is ready to consider such possibility in a port in Nigeria.
The Ukrainian Minister stated that developing such hub will make it possible to bring high quality grains to Nigeria, which will also influence positively on 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,” Solskyi said.
Solskyi further said that taking into consideration, the capacity and size of Nigeria, grain hub in the country is a priority number one.
He stated that if both countries manage to implement it, it will be a practical step towards business, reaching a new level.
Earlier, Solskyi said for Ukraine, it was very important to develop healthy relations which have been created between Nigerian and Ukrainian businesses in the past ten years.
The Ukrainian Minister further said next month, grains from Ukraine will be arriving in Nigeria under the initiative called ‘Grain from Ukraine.’
He said 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 relations.
“I think that despite all the events going on in the world, our countries are fully ready to develop these cooperation,” Solskyi stated.
The Ukrainian Minister further said the Ukrainian Government and the Ukrainian President are ready to pay a 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,” the Ukrainian Minister further said.
In his remarks, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, expressed appreciation to the Government of Ukraine that despite the ongoing war in the country, it still found time to extend the gesture to Nigeria.
“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 fertiliser and other grains.
“And this I can assure you that we will continue to try and improve on that relationship,” Abubakar said.
The Agric Minister further said the Lagos and Onne Port in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, were being considered as the proposed hubs.
On his part, 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 a super human courage and we really admire, as well as generosity. So, we truly thank you enormously for this support,” Onyeama said.
While saying that Nigeria has had long-standing, close relations with Ukraine, Onyeama added that one of the victims of the war in Ukraine has been a large number of Nigerian students whom Ukraine had been educating in many important fields and disciplines.