Nigeria, Russia Pledge Closer Ties

On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin of Russia made a commitment to strengthen connections with Nigeria and other African countries. He also reassured leaders on the continent that Russia was ready to collaborate with African states to expand their energy, information communication, educa

This came as Vice President Kashim Shettima stated that Nigeria would cooperate with Russia to revitalize the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria, particularly through engaging with key stakeholders in the industry. This came as a result of the fact that this statement was made.

Both of them gave presentations during the Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum that is now taking place in St. Petersburg, Russia as part of the ongoing Russia-Africa Summit.

Shettima, who was there as a representative for President Bola Tinubu, and Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is the President of Zimbabwe, are two of the African heads of state who are participating in the meeting.
Shehu Abdullahi, Nigeria's Ambassador to Russia; Yusuf Tugar, Nigeria's Ambassador to Germany; Gabriel Aduda, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources; Mary Ogbe, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development; and Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, were among the other officials present at the forum.⁣
If we can get this plant back into production as quickly as possible, it will be better for everyone. Shettima stated this during a meeting on the sidelines of the summit with the management of Russian Aluminum Company, UC RUSAL, and other players in the project. "We need to walk the talk; the Nigerian people deserve better," Shettima remarked at the meeting.

While this was going on, Putin made a point to mention in his opening remarks that the potential for trade and economic cooperation between Russia and African countries was significantly bigger than the trade turnover of $18 billion that was witnessed in 2022.
He reaffirmed his country's commitment to ensuring food security in Africa and beyond, highlighting the fact that "Russia will continue to work towards shaping a more equitable global food distribution system."⁣

The leader of Russia stated that his country would strengthen its support for Africa, which accounts for 65 percent of the world's arable land and roughly 10 percent of domestic renewable freshwater supplies. He referred to "its huge potential for the further development of agriculture."⁣

"I would want to emphasize that Russia is really interested in continuing to support all-around development and deepening commercial, economic, and humanitarian cooperation with all of the African countries. This is something that I would like to stress. In his statement at the gathering, he stated, "I have no doubt that this forum and the thematic meetings, round tables, and talks held within its framework will certainly be useful and will bring us closer to our common goals."
Additionally, the Russian head of state committed to providing assistance to Nigeria and other African nations in their fight against the food crisis.

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He made the following statement: "Our nation will continue to support governments and regions that are in need, especially with its humanitarian supplies. In addition to doing everything in our power to forestall a worldwide food shortage, we are actively attempting to play an active role in the construction of a system that is more equal for the distribution of resources.

"In general, we are certain that with the implementation of suitable agricultural technologies and the proper organization of agricultural production, Africa will not only be able to feed itself and assure its own food security over the long term, but it will also be able to become an exporter of a variety of different types of food. This is our fundamental belief. I can promise you that Russia will do nothing but stand behind you in this."

Shettima's sideline meetings at the event were in furtherance of the efforts by the Federal Government to reactivate production lines at ALSCON by re-engaging with UC RUSAL and other partners in the resuscitation of the plant, according to the statement that was released later on Thursday by the State House Director of Information, Office of the Vice President, Olusola Abiola. The statement was titled "Reviving ALSCON: VP Shettima meets stakeholders,

Shettima, speaking after a presentation by the management of UC RUSAL, emphasized the great benefits for the economy in many dimensions, such as in the area of energy transition, and job creation both directly and indirectly, and its impact on the development of small enterprises is also enormous. Shettima made these remarks following the presentation.
He pleaded with the various parties involved to move quickly in order to complete the action plan that would allow the company to resume production.

Shettima, along with other African leaders, participated in the opening of the Russia–Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum, which was presided over by Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia.

The Vice President was also present at a state banquet that was organized by President Putin at the ExpoForum in St. Petersburg for the chiefs of delegation from foreign countries.

Jenny Young

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