January 12, (THEWILL) – The Ukrainian Government has disclosed its readiness to establish grain hubs in Nigeria and other African countries.
Ukrainian Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, Mykola Solskyi, announced this Wednesday when he led a delegation to a meeting with the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammad Abubakar, in Abuja.
Speaking during the meeting, Solskyi said Ukraine is interested and ready to develop grain hubs in Africa.
Solskyi also said negotiations in Dakar, Senegal, had also been reached on the hub, adding that Ukraine is happy that Nigeria is ready to consider it.
Solskyi said developing the 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,” he said.
Solskyi further said taking into consideration the capacity and size of Nigeria, the grain hub in the country was a priority.
He disclosed that by next month, about 25,000 tons of grains will arrive in Nigeria under the initiative called ‘Grain from Ukraine.’
“And we are very thankful to you that your country is ready to develop these relations. I think that despite all the events going on in the world, our countries are fully ready to develop this cooperation.
“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 it if your country is ready for developing more active relations,” Solskyi 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 businesses 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 said.
He said the Lagos and Onne Port in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, were being considered as a proposed hub.
On his part, Onyeama said Nigeria cannot thank Ukraine enough that notwithstanding the situation Ukraine found itself in, it was able to reach out a hand of friendship and support to, not just Nigeria, but other African countries.
“This demonstrates a superhuman courage and we really admire, as well as generosity. So, we truly thank you enormously for this support,” Onyeama said.