President Muhammadu Buhari and his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Agriculture to strengthen collaboration between both countries in the sector.
Duda disclosed this while briefing journalists at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, shortly after a closed door session with Buhari.
According to him, the MoU becomes necessary in the light of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the consequent food crisis.
Duda said Nigeria was the only African country Poland has signed an agreement of strategic dialogue with, which includes the MoU on agriculture cooperation.
President Duda also acknowledged Nigeria’s wealth in these natural resources, adding that supplies of LNG from Nigeria to Poland have already happened.
He hinted that his country wished to increase supplies from Nigeria to Poland, thereby further crystallising existing economic cooperation between both countries.
‘‘What was pivotal in our conversation today both in our tete-a-tete as well as the plenary session was how to provide food and energy security.
‘‘It is important to us to strengthen the relations between Poland and Nigeria and the MOU we have signed is very important for the future of both nations on food security,’’ the Polish president said through an interpreter.
On energy security, he lauded the delivery of liquefied natural gas to Poland from Nigeria, as well as shipments of crude oil.
He said, “Speaking about the energy security dimension, the talks that we have had today are essential from the perspective of supplying both LNG gas as well as oil to Poland and to the European Union…. We want to further this cooperation and we want to increase the supplies from Nigeria to Poland and by this way we want to contribute to the development of economic cooperation between the two countries,’’ he said.
President Duda noted that Nigeria and Poland have enjoyed excellent bilateral relations in the last 60 years, buoyed at the people-to-people level with the presence of many Nigerians at Polish higher institutions of learning as well as the input of Polish engineers and scientists in the building of infrastructure in Nigeria.
Addressing a joint press conference with the visiting Head of State, President Buhari said Nigeria was gratified by the existing fruitful cooperation with Poland in the fields of maritime, education and defence.
‘Our cooperation in education has a long history and we wish to encourage the extension of that cooperation to the sharing of knowledge and experience between our educational institutions in areas such as science and technology as well as Information and Communication Technology, in order to help drive innovation in our countries in this competitive global knowledge economy,’’ the President also said.
President Buhari, while describing the two-day visit of the Polish President as significant as it underscored the cordial relations that exist between both countries, commended the efforts of the government of Poland in providing assistance to the large number of refugees fleeing the conflict in Ukraine, including a significant number of Nigerians.
‘‘I also wish to express our sincere gratitude for the kind and generous support extended during our government’s evacuation of our fleeing nationals.
‘‘We also appreciate greatly the opportunity given to some of our nationals to remain in Poland to continue with their studies.
‘‘As regards trade relations, we would like to see an increase in the level of trade, as it remains relatively low in spite of the long period of relations between our two countries,’’ he said.
Buhari, who welcomed the hosting of a Dialogue that will bring together various members of the business sectors of Nigeria and Poland, during the State Visit, added that it is an excellent initiative to increase the level of trade between both countries.
Both Nigeria and Poland signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Agriculture, while pledging their willingness to enlarge the fields of economic cooperation in the energy and manufacturing sectors