By Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Valerii Alesandruk, has said Nigeria has the potential to become a hub for Africa in the area of space development, if she could be determined to launch further into space.
The envoy, who noted that Nigeria was not just only a big country in the African continent but also possesses a lot of potentials and great minds, urged the country to endeavour to establish itself in this regards, adding that Ukraine with her vast expertise in the area of space technology is ready to collaborate with Nigeria.
Alesandruk, made the observation while speaking with journalists in Abuja on various areas of cooperation between the two countries.
He said, “Ukraine is very good at space technology and Nigeria is a big country in the continent that needs to develop its space sector.
“Nigeria needs to establish itself and launch more into the space and become hub for Africa in space development”.
The ambassador disclosed that apart from space technology, his country was desirous of deepening military cooperation with Nigeria to help her overcome her security challenges.
He commended Nigerians currently studying in various higher institutions in Ukraine, noting that out of the 3,700 Nigerian travellers issued visas in the last two years, 2014 are students and they are currently doing well.
According to him, the number of visa issued to Nigerians increased by 45 per cent in 2018.
“In 2017 we issued 1,642 visas to Nigerians going to Ukraine, among these we have 821 visas for students that wanted to study in the Ukraine.
“In the last ten months of 2018 we have already issued 2,028 visas to Nigerians and among them we have 1,193 student visas.
“Currently we have more than 4000 Nigerians studying various courses in Ukraine. This is good for our cooperation as young people from Nigeria go to Ukraine to study medicine, ICT high tech among others”, the ambassador noted.
He said that Nigeria and Ukraine had cooperation in the frame of international organisations and Nigeria had supported Ukraine in some instances.
“In March 2014 Ukraine became an object of international discussion and Nigeria supported Ukraine.
“Ukraine on its part also supported Nigeria in the course of fighting Boko Haram.
“Ukraine was among the few countries which supported Nigeria in the supply of military weapons to fight the insurgents”, the envoy added.