Ukraine to establish grain hubs in Lagos and Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Despite the ongoing conflict with Russia, the Ukrainian government stated on Wednesday that it is willing to establish grain hubs in Nigeria and other African countries to strengthen bilateral ties.
This was revealed when Mykola Solskyi, Ukraine’s Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, led a delegation to Nigeria’s Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammad Abubakar, in Abuja.
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Onyeama praised Ukraine for the grain donation, noting that it came even though the country is still at war.
“Regardless of the situation in which your country finds itself, you can reach out a hand of friendship not only to Nigeria but to other African countries,” he said. This demonstrates superhuman bravery, and we appreciate your generosity; we thank you for your assistance.”
Onyeama, on the other hand, lamented that among the victims of the war in Ukraine are a large number of Nigerian students whose studies have been disrupted by the conflict.
“You have developed a real specialisation in many disciplines, and Nigerian students are the beneficiaries,” he added. We can continue to fortify ties between our two countries and peoples. We will do everything possible at the multilateral level to bring the war to a close as soon as possible.”
At the meeting, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abubakar, stated that the country is eager to provide suitable ports for the country’s grain hub.
“We appreciate and commend you that, despite the war, you still found time to extend a gesture of friendship to Nigeria and donate grains,” Abubakar said. I can assure you that relations with Ukraine will improve; we have been doing business with Ukraine, particularly in agriculture, and I can say that over 30% of our agricultural business is with Ukraine, particularly in the areas of wheat, fertiliser, and other grains. And I am confident that you will continue to improve our relationship.”
The purpose of the grain hubs, according to Abubakar, is to have a centre where Ukraine will bring grains and Nigeria will help other African countries, which will be useful in case of emergency and even for donations to other countries.
The Agriculture Minister stated that Ukraine possesses the technology and know-how to assist Nigeria in wheat production, emphasising that capacity building will be an integral part of the relationship, which will result in a win-win situation.
The Ukrainian minister, for his part, stated that grains from his country will arrive in Nigeria next month as part of the ‘Grains from Ukraine’ initiative.
“Despite the war with Russia, the Ukrainian food industry wants closer relations with Nigeria, and we are very grateful to you that your country is willing to develop these relations,” he said.
“Despite all the events going on in the world, our countries are ready to develop this cooperation. The Ukrainian government and president are prepared to devote significant attention to this development. Every year, we want to have regular contact with not only our agriculture ministers but also with other ministers.
“Development of such hubs will make it possible to bring in high-quality grains into your country and it will influence prices in your country positively. Ukraine intends to develop two or three hubs in Africa, and given your country’s capacity, the grain hub in your country is priority number one. If we do it correctly, it will be a practical step toward taking businesses to the next level.
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