The Federal Government affirmed its commitment to strengthen its bilateral ties with the Republic of Belarus in order to diversify its economy.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, made the disclosure when the Ambassador of Belarus Vyacheslav BRIL paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
The SGF noted that Nigeria’s long existing ties with Belarus in the area of trading has not improved and requested the Ambassador to explore means of improving trade relations so as to boost its volume of trade.
“To assure you that slowly but steadily, we will continue to build on this very strong relationship that we believe will be mutually beneficial to Nigeria is a trading partner with Belarus. But we hope to see improvements in the same as the volume of trade between the two countries have not really increase in the dimension that we want to see over the last couple of years, but we believe that the way you've set to engage. I can see that since you presented your letters of credence, I think I can see that you've began to engage ministers in Cabinet, and you've been able to get some visits to Belarus from those ministers. that is the way to go.”
He commended the government of Belarus on the quality of their products which have received acceptability among Nigerians and promised to seek their support in turning the fortunes of country’s agricultural drive.
SGF informed the Ambassador of federal government’s diversification drive and seeks partnership with Belarus government on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a way forward. He said: “I believe there are certain areas from which we can begin to partner. in the last two quarters, our Digital Economy and ICT have contributed immensely to our GDP, which is a clear indication that in as much as we are an oil dependent country, but we can strongly drive the diversification drive in our economy particularly in the service sector. ICT stands out as an area we can partner as nation. I hope you We have an opportunity with the Minister of Communications and digital economy so that you can discuss at length on how we can work together in particular industry to see how, how you can help institutionalize our developmental efforts in that that particular area”.
He affirmed that the federal government would like the Belarusian government to partner with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development among others to build institutions that would impact and transfer knowledge on entrepreneurship to our teeming youths.
He further said that the nation seeks cooperation with the government of Belarus in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Agricultural Mechanisation, Defence, Mining etc, to enable the country tap into their rich resource.
Earlier, the Ambassador of Belarus to Nigeria, Vyacheslav BRIL, has assured the federal government of its desire to partner with Nigeria in the area of agriculture, manufacturing, solid minerals, oil and gas, defense and security. He assured its readiness to partner with Nigeria to provide the required expertise for sustainable development.
He said that Belarus has a track record in agricultural mechanization producing 60,000 tractors annually with different modification. He therefore requested to partner with the federal government in order to support in its agricultural mechanization drive.
He added that through its military- technical cooperation, the government of Belarus is ready to support Nigerian government in the securing modernized ammunitions.
He also assured the federal government that with their gains in the oil and gas industry, they would provide the necessary maintenance and upgrading of refineries to operate optimally.