The Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Valerii Aleksandruk, has affirmed that Nigeria remains the country’s biggest business partner in Africa.
The envoy, in an exclusive interview with The AUTHORITY, said the Nigerian-Ukraine relations, which had long been established over decades, needs to be consolidated to further explore the opportunities therein.
To him, establishing a Bi-National Commission to further consolidate the relationship is key to exploring the opportunities between the both countries.
Dr. Valerii Aleksandruk said the time is ripe, adding that there are many areas that both countries can collaborate to help each other.
"Ukraine takes Nigeria as a very strong business partner in whole of the African continent. Now you can see President Muhammadu Buhari and his ministers are working to diversify the economy and to make it non-oil dependency. We can collaborate in the areas of agriculture and solid minerals.
We want to expand our relations in areas like education because of course, about 4,000 Nigerians are studying in Ukraine and we are ready to receive more students. We still need economic cooperation and we are now working to establish the Nigeria-Ukraine Bi-national Commission.
"Ukraine is highest specialist and experience in agri-business. So, we can supply your agricultural equipment and we can teach your people building capacity in agriculture; I believe this can be useful for Nigeria as a country," he said.
Aleksandruk continued: "Nigeria and Ukraine enjoy a very fruitful and friendly relations for many years. This year we will celebrate the 25th years of establishing diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Nigeria. And we plan to host the first Nigeria-Ukraine Business Forum in Ukraine, starting from May 15-17, 2017. It is a part of our celebration to mark the 25th years of diplomatic relations. The forum will enable the two countries’ businessmen to come together and know each other. They can learn from each other”.
He called on Nigeria to fight against the Russian attack that is currently escalating in Donbas, which they said is a clear indication of Russia's continued blatant disregard for its commitments under the Minsk Agreements.