Thursday, October 24, 2019

The Russia-Africa summit is of no use to Nigeria

By Darius Aminu

Presidents from 40 African countries are currently attending  an annual summit in, Sochi, Russia.

Nigeria's President is in attendance and it remains to be seen what Nigeria stands to gain from the submit.

Russia is not among Nigeria's top trading partners. India takes the top spot, followed by Netherlands.

In terms of defence, the U.S is the main provider of Nigeria's defence equipment. With little economic and defence ties between Nigeria and Russia, President Buhari's trip to the summit is a waste of tax payers money.

Reports that Nigeria has inked deals with Russia to facilitate the construction of rail networks in certain parts of the country is not feasible. China has an unparalleled expertise in rail construction and with the work they have done so far, it makes no sense to invite the Russians.

I am not saying Nigeria should have shunned the summit, given Russia's relentless support to African countries in the dark days of colonialism. We owe her that respect but we also need to understand that Russia of today is not as powerful as Russia during the Soviet era and she doesn't wield as much power as she used to.

While African countries should ensure that they stay in Russia's good books, it's imperative that we align ourselves politically with western democracies around the world and economically with China, America and the EU.

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