President of the Nigerian Senate Bukola Saraki on Thursday canvassed stronger bilateral and economic ties between Nigeria and the Republic of Ukraine.
Senator Saraki, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sanni Onogu, stated this when he hosted the Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Valerii Aleksandruk, who visited him in Abuja.
The Senate President however thanked the Ukrainian authorities for their support to Nigeria especially in the fight against terrorism, while commiserating with Ukrainian government over the recent loss of lives in the Eastern part of that country.
“I want to use this opportunity to show our appreciation for the friendly relationship that exists between the two countries. Particularly, I want to also acknowledge the support Ukraine has given us in the fight against terrorism, the military cooperation, and supply of arms and ammunition which has gone a long way to help us in the fight,” reads the statement.
He also said that the 8th Senate would support the creation of a friendship group between the National Assembly and Ukrainian legislature for the exchange of ideas on parliamentary best practices.
“I support it entirely and there’s need to have exchange of ideas between our two parliaments. We are very open to that kind of interaction, either for our members to visit the parliament of Ukraine and for yours to come here and I truly support the idea of the setting up of friendship groups within the two parliaments. I think that, if we can do that, that will begin to open doors for more interactions between your country and Nigeria. And on the back of that, we can set up a joint commission to look at the areas of trade which you’ve talked about.”
Trade and Investments
Earlier, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Valerii Aleksandruk, said his country places high premium on its relationship with Nigeria and that he would do his best to promote the relationship to a new level.
He said that Ukraine is planning to establish a joint commission to cover the whole range of political, economic and security areas between both countries.
Aleksandruk said: “We have a good chance to open a new page in our relations. It is my pleasure to note that Ukraine and Nigeria enjoy fruitful cooperation with the framework of international organisations. Ukraine considers Nigeria an important partner, especially in the area of trade and investments. We believe that there are lots of areas where we can deepen our relations in areas like agriculture, mining, renewable energy, infrastructure, where the Ukrainian companies have great experience.
“More and more Ukrainian companies look for new opportunities in Nigeria. Ukraine encourages more companies to invest into Nigeria establishing partnerships with Nigerian companies. We are planning to establish a joint commission with Nigeria to cover the whole range of political, economic and security areas”, he said.
The envoy also condemned acts of terrorism committed by the Boko Haram sect and said the Government of Ukraine will continue to stand firmly with Nigeria in the fight against the evil.