‘Nigeria yet to conclude on closure of Mission in Ukraine’
The Federal Government yesterday disclosed that it was yet to take a final decision on whether or not to close its Mission in Ukraine.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olukunle Bamgbose, while receiving the Ukraine Trade Mission to Nigeria, assured the delegation that negotiation was still on.
The Federal Government had in 2016, initiated plans to shut down some of its foreign missions including that of Ukraine.
The situation attracted serious apprehension, especially among over 6,000 Nigerians schooling in Ukraine, who feared that the planned closure might affect them drastically.
The Permanent Secretary however told the delegation that in view of the immense assistance rendered to Nigeria by Ukraine in the supply of military hardware few years back when Boko Haram attack was intense, Nigerian government may reconsider its earlier position.
He noted that aside being the second largest country hosting Nigerian students abroad, the country has proven itself a friend in time of need.
Ukrainian Trade Representative and Deputy Minister, Economic Development and Trade, Natalia Mykolska, who led the delegation later met with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, and heads of relevant ministries and agencies in trade and investment.
Mustapha called for increased trade volume between Nigeria and Ukraine.
According to him, the trade volume between Nigeria and Ukraine was $93.3m as at November 2017,which he observed was a four per cent decrease in the 2016 figures.
The SGF however expressed optimism that with the visit of the Ukrainian delegation, the trade volume between the two countries will increase.
Mustapha also sought partnership with Ukraine on how to develop Nigeria’s waterways.
He said for the nation’s economy to grow, Nigeria must develop its inland waterways to reduce traffic on the roads.
Mykolska said Nigeria is a long-standing friend of Ukraine noting that Nigerian students in Ukraine are the best ambassadors for both countries.
According to her “Nigeria is a strategic partner, we believe trade is not a one way street, we need to think of import, export and joint cooperation.
While alluding to the fact that Nigeria and Ukraine have huge trade imbalances, he stated that import from Ukraine to Nigeria stood at N91 billion while export from Nigeria is N90 million.
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