NIGERIA – The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine and the international company Lagos Free Zone (Tolaram Group) have signed a Memorandum of understanding (MOU) to set up a grain terminal at the Lekki Port in Lagos, Nigeria.
Signed by the Ukrainian First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, Taras Vysotsky on the sidelines of the “Conference on the Recovery of Ukraine” in London, the corporation aims to help ensure food security in the African continent.
“This new cooperation aims to create the necessary infrastructure to ensure a continuous supply of Ukrainian agricultural products in Nigeria and throughout the African continent, with the main aim of guaranteeing food security in the regions that have the most need for food”, explained Taras Vysotsky.
He added that the Ukrainian agrarian sector will continue playing an important role in ensuring international food security, especially when the world population is increasing.
The Lekki Deep Sea Port in Nigeria is the first fully automated port in the country. This is a joint project of the governments of Nigeria and Lagos State, the owner of the Lagos free zone, Tolarams Group (Singapore), and China Harbor Engineering Company (CNEC).
The move comes after a recent declaration by the Ukraine government to set up two to three hubs in Africa in a bid to build a trade partnership with the African countries.
In January, the Ukrainian Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, Mykola Solskyi led a delegation to Nigeria in a quest to bolster its relationships with African nations as well as its intention to build a logistics hub to facilitate grain and food deliveries.
During the visit, Solskyi said that after meeting with Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama and Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, the country was considered the first African country to set up the hub following its readiness for the business.
In Nigeria, cereal imports from Ukraine totaled nearly US$492 million in 2021 according to trade data compiled on the United Nations Comtrade platform.
During the signing of the MOU, Vysotsky, who was presenting the government revealed that Ukraine has the capacity and the technical know-how to build a grain terminal being the largest exporter and producer of wheat before the start of the Russian-Ukraine war.
According to him, the partnership intends to positively influence grain prices in African countries through grain supplies to mitigate the skyrocketing prices and meet the increasing demand.