Nigeria will conclude outstanding trade and economic cooperation agreements with Belarus and also pursue other areas of diplomatic relations between both countries; this is according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The Vice President disclosed last week when he received the Ambassador of Belarus to Nigeria, Vyacheslav Bekesty and his delegation in his office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mr. Osinbajo, while noting Mr, Bekesty’s request for enhanced trade relations with Nigeria, expressed Nigeria’s appreciation to Belarus, “on behalf of the President and the people of Nigeria, for the very active cooperation of your country in the fight against Boko Haram and the whole moral struggle against extremism and terrorism.”
He informed the Ambassador that the Federal Government recognised the contributions of Belarus to Nigeria’s development, especially in the area of training of Nigerian troops and the education of Nigerian students, many of who attend tertiary institutions in the eastern European nation.
While offering Belarus access to the Nigerian market, the Vice President restated the determination of the Buhari administration to protect Nigeria’s local industries, emphasising that “Nigeria hopes to become a country that provides for some of its own needs.”
Holding Nigeria in High Esteem
Earlier, the Belarus Ambassador told the Vice President that his country holds Nigeria in high esteem, which informed the expansion of its Mission in Nigeria.
He also said Belarus desires a visit by President Muhammadu Buhari to his country and therefore requested the Vice President to help facilitate it, saying this will go a long way to boost the morale of the people of Belarus and further deepen the existing cordial diplomatic relationship between both countries.
Belarus recently cancelled the compulsory one year language class for foreign students including Nigerians, providing educational instructions in English.
Some of the areas where Belarus seeks collaboration with Nigeria include production of consumables and partnership with companies in the country including the automobile industry.