Saraki in Russia for football but an eye on business


– As the rich travel even when under invstigation

Nigeria’s senate president, Bukola Saraki, is in Russio ostensibly to cheer the Super Eagles but he is also meeting business groups for investment. Meanwhile, the rich and powerful seem able to travel out of Nigerian and back even while under investigation for non-bailable offences. Saraki is officially under investigation for alleged links with persons accused of mass murder, but he has freely traveled. No ordinary citizen would still be walking the streets free, let alone travel out of the country.

Saraki, on Thursday, told the Russian Government that Nigeria is conducive for investors especially in the oil and gas as well as agriculture, mining and power sectors of the economy. Saraki stated this during a meeting with the leadership of the Upper Chamber of the Russian Parliament, in Moscow, led by its Chairperson, Ms. Valentina Matviyenko.

“Russia could take a more active part in economic and business projects in Nigeria. Your State must necessarily play its role on the African continent,” Saraki said. “Together we could consider new opportunities for mutually beneficial economic cooperation,” Saraki said.

Nigerian leaders also cause tension in one moment and the next moment, tell foreigners that Nigeria was cool for investment. They seem to forget that the foreign countries have embassies and diplomatic posts that study the country daily and file reports back as daily briefings. This is what the foreign countries rely on to have a first hand knowledge of any country, certainly not what a country’s officials are saying, inside sources said.

Also, the countries usually call up NGOs and trusted media sources to cross check facts about any country. This is why well ordered countries maintain consistency in the image they want to present about their countries. In Nigeria, the officials would demarket the country for six days and promote it in one day, believeing that the foreign investors were adequately deceived. Its only guerilla investors that respond to such propaganda and this may be because they too have their own agenda, sources said.

He called for increased access for Nigerians willing to visit and do business in Russia, improved trade relations and military support to aid Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, human trafficking and irregular migration.

The senate president however called for improved parliamentary cooperation and collaboration between the two parliaments in order to entrench better legislative practices, cross fertilize ideas and improve relations between both countries. This call is despite the fact that the Russian parliament would hardly dare to stand on the way of the president, especially Putin, nor rewrite his budget. .

Saraki said while Nigeria appreciates the assistance the Russian Government has rendered to Nigeria in the supply of military hardware to fight Boko Haram, more support is needed to fully restore security and normalcy in affected areas.

He said that the National Assembly is eager to work with the Russian Parliament to strengthen Nigeria-Russia relations and by extension the African continent.

“Russia and Nigeria need to strengthen cooperation for the prosperity of our peoples,” Saraki said.

On her part, Chairperson of the Federation Council, Ms. Valentina Matviyenko, said the Russian Parliament will continue to build on the good relations between Nigeria and Russia while collaborating closely with the National Assembly.

She thanked the President of the Senate and his delegation for the visit Senate and said that Russia values the existing good diplomatic relations between both countries.