On Wednesday, October 23, President Muhammadu Buhari and Russian President, Vladimir Putin held a bilateral meeting on sidelines of ongoing Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, Russia.
The two leaders agreed to put Nigeria-Russia relations on a fast track, and pursue the completion of all abandoned projects initiated by both countries.
According to Tolu Ogunlesi, the President’s Special Assistant on Media Here’s the highlight of Buhari’s meeting with Putin:
Solid Minerals (Ajaokuta Steel Mill & ALSCON)
– Oil and Gas (JVs between NNPC & Lukoil; and between NNPC & Gazprom)
– Rail Transport
– Security Cooperation
1. Agreement on a JV between Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Russia-based Lukoil, focused on refinery revitalization.
2. Nigeria and Russia agreed to revive and solidify the venture between the NNPC and Russia’s Gazprom for gas Infrastructure development in Nigeria.
3. Buhari request for the return of Russia, on a government-to-government basis, to complete and launch the abandoned Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill. Request was accepted by President Putin.
4. Russia agreed to construct a 1,400 kilometre Rail Line from Lagos to Calabar.
5. Discussions moved ahead on Russian plan to establish a nuclear power plant in Nigeria. Putin said the next step should be the commencement of construction.
6. Buhari agreed to renew Nigeria-Russia Military Technical Agreement, “within the shortest possible time.” The agreement will propel Nigeria’s efforts to purchase military hardware from Russia on a government-to-government basis, and also underpin training.
7. Putin agreed to support Nigeria with military equipment, Infrastructure and training.
8. Buhari assured speedy resolution of entanglements surrounding matter of Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria, ALSCON, Ikot-Abasi, Akwa-Ibom State.
9. Russia assured of additional scholarships to Nigerians. Also promised Russian support for Nigeria’s efforts to attain self-sufficiency in Wheat production and fertilizer production.
10. Nigeria and Russia agreed to work to organize a Joint Commission meeting to review and ratify all agreements in Intergovernmental Nigeria-Russia Joint Commission on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation Protocol of November 11, 2016.
11. Buhari asked Putin to support Nigeria’s aspiration for permanent membership of the UN Security Council.