Russia should reckon with Nigeria as the central area of focus in Africa - Senate President

Saraki stressed the need for the Russian government to expand their interests in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

Nigeria’s Senate President, Bukola Saraki has urged the Russian government to reckon with the West African country as the central area of focus in Africa.

Speaking at a special plenary session at the Council of the Russian Federation, Saraki said the Russian government should take a more serious view of its longstanding ties to Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

“Russia should reckon with Nigeria as the central area of focus in Africa, and take a more serious view of its longstanding ties to our end of the world,” Saraki said.

Speaking further, Saraki stressed the need for the Russian government to expand their interests in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

“Our position, therefore, is simple: those who are serious about expanding their interests in Africa must necessarily see Nigeria – the powerhouse in the region – as the gateway to the continent.

"With Russia and Nigeria projected to be the biggest economies in Europe and Africa respectively in just three decades from now, it would be a travesty if we did not strive to strengthen cooperation and partnership to reap the gains in terms of GDP growth.

"The time has come for the world to get a measure of the real Russia. I would urge, therefore, that you consider more ways to enable other people to experience the rich culture of this wonderful country.

"It is my hope that today signals a new phase in Nigeria-Russia relations, as shaped by inter-parliamentary cooperation in particular, and that this stronger relationship will be of immense benefit to our people,” Saraki said to the Russian lawmakers.

Saraki notified the Nigerian Senate his visit to the Federation Council of Russia on June 10, 2018, after an invite from the Chairperson of the legislative arm, H.E. Valentina Matviyenko.

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