President Muhammadu Buhari’s meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Russia-African Summit is aimed at strengthening both countries bilateral relationships.
According to the president’s Special Assistant on New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi, the following were the highlights of their discussions:
1. Agreement on a Joint Venture 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. President 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 kilometer Rail Line from Lagos to Calabar.
5. Discussions moved ahead on Russian plan to establish a nuclear power plant in Nigeria. President Putin said next step should be commencement of construction.
6. President Buhari agreed to renew Nigeria-Russia Military Technical Agreement, “within the shortest possible time.” Agreement will propel Nigeria’s efforts to purchase military hardware from Russia on government-to-government basis, and also underpin training.
7. President Putin agreed to support Nigeria with military equipment, Infrastructure and training.
8. President 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. Russia is number one wheat producer in the world; also rich in Potassium.
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. President Buhari asked President Russia to support Nigeria’s aspiration for permanent membership of the UN Security Council.