Hope For Cereal Manufacturers As Putin Assures Ukrainian Grain Exports To Nigeria
President Vladimir Putin of Russia has assured African leaders of his readiness to allow export of grains to the continent following the shortages in recent times caused by the war between Russia and Ukraine which has resulted in food inflation as well as the scarcity of farms additives.
In April, Nigeria had to buy emergency supplies of potash after the country was unable to import the key fertiliser ingredient from Ukraine-Russia due to the impact of the invasion.
During a meeting with the Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Senegal’s President Macky Sall, Putin told the representative of African leaders that he was ready to enable the export of Ukrainian grain to ease a global food crisis that is hitting Africa especially hard.
Recently, the federal government lamented that the war was causing another wave of global economic distortion reflected in the cost of food and fertiliser in the country.
According to Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed “For Nigeria as a producer of fertiliser, one of the major inputs for fertiliser production, potash, is also affected. Now it is scarce and that means that the input is very expensive and we are seeing that reflecting in the cost of fertiliser,”
Notably, Sall did not say if Putin had attached any conditions to his offer, but Russia had previously said it is ready to allow vessels carrying food to leave Ukraine in return for the lifting of some Western sanctions against it, a proposal that Ukraine has described as “blackmail”.
“I have come to see you, to ask you to be aware that our countries, even far from the theatre (of war), are the victims of this economic crisis,” Sall told Putin earlier.
Russia’s army has seized much of Ukraine’s southern coastline and its warships control access to the country’s Black Sea ports. Yet it continues to blame Ukraine and the West for the resulting halt in Ukrainian grain exports.
Putin told Russian state TV in an interview broadcast that Ukraine could export grain from ports including Odesa if it cleared them of mines.
“Let them remove the mines, we guarantee them free passage to international waters,” he said.
He added that the easiest way to ship out Ukrainian grain would be via neighbouring Belarus, but that it would require the West to lift sanctions on the country.
Aside from wheat, oil, and farm additives, “Trading Economics” recently stated that Nigeria imported as much as $124.61 million worth of iron and steel in 2020, sugar and confectionary worth $8.19 million, pharmaceutical products valued at $7.6 million as well as dairy products worth $2.31 million.
In addition, Nigeria also brings in animal fodder, glass, and glassware, textiles, paper and paperboards, edible fruits, and organic chemicals, among others from the European country.