Shettima and Putin Meet as Nigeria, Russia Pledge Closer Ties

Putin, Shettima

Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised closer ties with Nigeria and other African countries, assuring leaders in the continent that the European country was ready to partner with African states to develop their energy, Information Communication, education, and health sectors, among others.

The promise came after Nigerian Vice President Kashim Shettima said Nigeria would partner with Russia to revive the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria, particularly by engaging with key stakeholders in the industry.⁣

The leaders spoke at the ongoing Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum held at Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Several African heads of state attended the summit, including Nigeria’s Shettima, who represented President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Shettima attended the summit with a team of Nigerian delegations.

Other officials at the forum were Nigeria’s Ambassador to Russia, Shehu Abdullahi; Nigeria’s Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Tugar; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Gabriel Aduda; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mary Ogbe; and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, among others.⁣

“The sooner we get this plant back to production, the better for everyone. We need to walk the talk; the Nigerian people deserve better,” Shettima said at a meeting with the management of Russian Aluminium Company, UC RUSAL, and other stakeholders in the project on the sideline of the summit.

On his side, Putin noted in his opening remarks that the potential for trade and economic cooperation between Russia and African countries was much higher than the trade turnover of $18bn in 2022.⁣

He restated Russia’s commitment to food security in Africa and beyond, stressing that “Russia will continue to work towards shaping a more equitable global food distribution system.”⁣

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Putin added that Russia would increase its support for Africa which accounts for 65 percent of the world’s arable land and around 10 percent of domestic renewable freshwater sources, noting “its huge potential for the further development of agriculture.”⁣

He further pledged to help Nigeria and other African states to tackle the food crisis the continent is experiencing.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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