Ambassador decries low volume of trade between Nigeria, Russia

The Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexander Polyakov, has expressed concern over the volume of trade between the two countries which has been put at 300 million dollars.

Mr. Polyakov said in Abuja on Tuesday that the low trade is due to the absence of a “framework” that would promote trade and investment.

He noted that Nigeria is yet to ratify the agreement on the promotion of investment signed between the two countries three years ago, adding that the neglect of such an important framework could hamper trade.

Mr. Polyakov said that the lack of political will and support by both governments, are also some reasons for the low volume of trade.

“Russia is still very cautious about investing in Nigeria, so you see, both nations lack the political will,” he said, adding that Russia produces oil and gas, and so does not need to import the commodity from Nigeria.

He, however, said that both countries have enjoyed very cordial relations over the past 50 years with cooperation in education and other technical areas.

The ambassador said that many Nigerians have benefited from Russian training programmes and scholarship, and that Russia has a prison exchange agreement “which allows Nigerians, who violate its laws, to be repatriated”.

“Today, there is no Nigerian serving jail term in any part of Russia,” the Russian ambassador said adding that more than 5,000 Nigerians reside in Russia.

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