The Vice President, Kashim Shettima, has said that Nigeria is concerned about the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
Shettima said this while addressing political and business leaders at the second plenary session of the Russia-Africa Summit holding in St. Petersburg on Friday.
His Director Information, Office of the Vice President, Olusola Abiola, disclosed this in a press release signed and issued on Friday.
Shettima stated, “Government is taking decisive steps to fight crime, punish offenders, directly tackle the insurgency, and do everything necessary to secure lives and investments in the country.
“We have resolved and are firmly determined to consolidate on industrializing Nigeria and diversifying its economy into sectors that the country has a comparative advantage.
“The administration of President Tinubu recognizes the private sector as the engine of growth and a veritable partner in our economic agenda, and will therefore give the fullest possible support to foreign and domestic investors.
“The administration has identified key growth drivers and sectors that are very important to the diversification of Nigerian economy, including power, transportation, infrastructure, maritime, agro-processing, mining, manufacturing, petro-chemicals, food processing and textiles etc. The Nigerian government considers these sectors as key priority areas that will drive the country’s economic agenda.
“In view of the current geopolitical situation, we must begin to think of real time investment in addition to trading in commodities. We call on Russian companies to take advantage of the vast potentials in Nigeria, being the largest market in Africa to invest in strategic areas and to derive maximum benefits.
“No meaningful development can take place without peace. The Russia-Ukraine crisis is impacting on all nations in different ways.
“The ongoing situation between two brotherly countries is unfortunate. Nigeria remains non-aligned in any conflict situation, but we are deeply concerned about the potential impact of the crisis on global peace and security and we call on parties to resolve the conflict through Diplomatic means as that is the best option for resolving conflicts and fostering international peace and security.”
Vice President Shettima then commended President Putin and the Russian government for convening the Summit, noting that “it is very significant to Nigeria in many respects.”
“The second session of the Russia-Africa Summit is coming at a time when the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is implementing a home-grown and private sector-driven Economic Agenda that is predicated on good governance, infrastructure and human capital development, as well as business climate reforms with the expected outcomes in job creation, and poverty alleviation.
“The need, therefore, to invite private sector participation in the Nigerian economy cannot be over-emphasized. Moreover, the timing of the Summit is very appropriate, as it is a case of Investments meeting Opportunities,” he added.
Earlier in his opening remarks, President of Russia, Vladimir Putin paid glowing tributes to the continent’s founding fathers, noting their contributions to the development of the current African State.
President Putin who spoke on a wide range of areas of cooperation between both countries, including security and defence, commerce, agriculture and climate agenda, reiterated his country’s commitment to the full economic transformation of the African continent.
He said “Russia is sincerely ready and willing to stand by African countries in their efforts to address challenges confronting them. We cherish our relationship with each African nation and will make efforts to sustain it.”
17 African Heads of State, 5 Vice Presidents, 10 Heads of government, and some business leaders from Russia, Africa and beyond, are attending the second edition of the Summit holding at St Petersburg’s ExpoForum.