*Calls for more cooperation between Ukraine and Nigeria
*Aknowleges role of Ukraine in the Ajaokuta Steel Plant in Kogi State
Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Ukraine, Shina Fatai Alege, on Thursday 19 August 2021, presented his letter of credence to the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Alege delivered greetings from President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and the good people of the country “who have good memories of Ukraine as a great country, a friend and international ally…” Alege added that Nigerians remember the role of Ukraine which, as a constituent unit of the defunct USSR, played a unifying role “in keeping Nigeria as one indivisible entity.”
The Ambassador said Nigeria noted with interest Ukraine’s steady progress since its independence and its determined efforts in attaining “economic growth and other reform measures aimed at improving the standard of living of the populace.” Thus, it is in recognition and support of these commendable efforts that Nigeria and Ukraine, according to Alege “need to further elevate their bilateral relations to the next level for the benefit of our peoples.” While it is true that the relationship between the two countries has been growing steadily, the Ambassador advocated that Nigeria and Ukraine “can do more in the areas of the economy, trade, education and defence.”
In his reminiscences about the bond between the two countries which dates back to the early days of Nigeria’s independence, Alege acknowledged the role played by Ukraine, “albeit as a component state of the Soviet Union,” in the development of the infrastructural and human resources of Nigeria. “Many Ukrainians then took positions in various construction industries within Nigeria. In a similar vein, many Nigerian youths were offered the use of educational facilities in the Soviet Union,” said he.
He added that today, Nigeria has over 6,000 students pursuing academic knowledge in various disciplines in Ukraine. Alege mentioned the Ajaokuta Steel Plant in Nigeria, saying Ukraine “has played a highly commendable part in this dream venture.
The Ambassador further advocated that the two countries must play a “pivotal role in the equitable management of global wealth between industrial and developing countries such as common membership of the United Nations.
Below is Ambassador Alege’s full speech: