The Ukrainian Government says it will donate 25,000 tons of grains to the Nigerian Government as it pledged to establish grain hubs in the country
The Ukrainian Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, Mykola Solskyi, made this known when he led a delegation to the office of the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama in Abuja.
Solskyi said the grains would arrive Nigeria next month under the ‘Grains from Ukraine,’ initiative as part of efforts to boost bilateral ties between the both countries.
“Despite the war with Russia, the Ukrainian food industry wants to have closer relations with Nigeria and we are very thankful to you that your country is ready to develop these relations.
“Despite all the events going on in the world our countries are ready to develop this cooperation. The Ukrainian government is ready to pay a lot of attention to this development. We want to have regular contacts every year not only by our agriculture ministers but other ministers as well.
“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 taking into consideration the capacity of your country, the grain hub in your country is priority number one. If we implement it well, it would be a practical step towards businesses reaching a new level.”
The Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama lauded the country for the grain donation, adding that the gesture was coming even when Ukraine is still at war.
Mr Onyeama also expressed sympathy with Ukraine over its ongoing war with Russia
“Notwithstanding the situation in which your country finds itself, you are able to reach out a hand of friendship not just to Nigeria but to other African countries. This demonstrates superhuman courage and we really admire your generosity, we thank you for this support,” said Mr. Onyeama.
The Minister noted that Nigeria has a long-standing relationship with Ukraine, and lamented that some of the victims of the war in Ukraine are the large number of Nigerian students, whose studies have been interrupted by the war.
“You have built up real specialization 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 our best at the multilateral level to bring the war to a very quick end,” the Foreign Minister added.
The Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammad Abubakar said that Nigeria is willing and ready to provide the appropriate ports for this grain hub in the country.
“We appreciate and commend you that despite the war you still found time to extend a gesture of friendship to Nigeria and also donated grains. I can assure you that the relations with Ukraine will improve, we have been having businesses with Ukraine especially in the agriculture sector and I can say that over 30% of our agricultural businesses are with Ukraine especially in the area of wheat, fertilizer and other grains. And this I can assure you will continue to improve our relationship,” he said.
Abubakar explained that the purpose of the grain hubs is to have a center where Ukraine will be bringing grains and we will be helping other African countries, which will be useful in case of emergency and even for donation to other countries.
“We are looking at the Lagos Port and also Onne Port in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Southern Nigeria.
”The grains coming from Ukraine will increase the amount of grains here and the hub will eventually become a business hub with other African countries and beyond and it will help to stabilize the price,” he added.