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Saraki Addresses Russian Parliament (Full Speech)

Nigeria’s Senate President is on an official visit to the Russian Federation where he addressed the Federation Council of Russia at the invitation of Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko.

His speech and remarks focused on how the two countries (Nigeria and Russia) can build better relations including Russian expansion to the rest of Africa.

Full text of the speech can be found below;

  1. “It is wonderful to be back in your beautiful country, especially during the #WorldCup. I wish to congratulate the Russian people for the successful hosting of this tournament.”
  2. “We are here today in this hallowed chamber as guests of Madam Speaker and this honourable House… I have every confidence that this will mark the beginning of a new phase of inter-parliamentary cooperation between our two nations.” –#SarakiInRussia
  3. “Africa is looking to the future, and Nigeria is at the forefront of that push. Africa is the future… More than half of the countries with the highest annual growth rate are on our continent, and this has been the case since the Year 2000.
  4. “Furthermore, a massive demographic dividend is expected to deliver an unprecedented advantage by 2050, when our continent will account for 40 percent of the world’s population — and one in four persons on earth will be African.”
  5. “We are the youngest continent, with a population of 1.3 billion Africans whose numbers are set to double by 2050; and more than half of whom are young people. The number of African youth expected to reach working age by 2035 will exceed that of the rest of the entire world.”
  6. “Nowhere is the surging power of Africa’s youth more inescapable than in Nigeria. Ours is the most populous country on the youngest continent, with some 68 percent of the Nigerian population between 18 to 35 years of age.”
  7. “Fellow parliamentarians, as leader of the Nigerian delegation to your country, my interest is the interest of the Nigerian people; as yours is the interest of the people of Russia…”
  8. “The recalibration of the world and the various power blocs is happening right before our eyes. In the emerging global order, world powers are looking to Africa, and it is not difficult to see why. Africa is not merely rising; Africa is here.”
  9. “Our position, therefore, is simple: those who are serious about expanding their interests in Africa must necessarily see Nigeria – the powerhouse in the region – as the gateway to the continent.”
  • “Russia should reckon with Nigeria as the central area of focus in Africa, and take a more serious view of its longstanding ties to our end of the world.” –
  • “Our two nations are among the 10 most populous countries in the world; and are among the Top 10 in gas reserves. With a population of nearly 190 million people, Nigeria is set to surpass the United States of America as the third most populous country in the world by 2050.”
  • “With Russia and Nigeria projected to be the biggest economies in Europe and Africa respectively in just three decades from now, it would be a travesty if we did not strive to strengthen cooperation and partnership to reap the gains in terms of GDP growth.”
  • “Nigerian music has gone global. I would not be surprised if Nigerian stars like Timaya, WizKid, Davido or Tiwa Savage are selling out concert halls in Moscow or St. Petersburg very soon, as they have been doing in major cities around the world.”
  • “Please allow me to say humbly, that it will be difficult to take your eyes off Nigeria during the ongoing World Cup tournament. If anything, we have already won the battle of the football jerseys; the Super Eagles kit is an instant classic…”
  • “Naturally, the entire Nigerian nation is behind our team, optimistic for a sterling performance in the rest of the tournament and confident that our boys will now produce the sleek moves to match the sleek looks.”
  • “Fellow parliamentarians, there are many other issues that call for closer cooperation between our two countries – which contribute to sustainable peace in the larger world – and these include Terrorism and Human Trafficking.”
  • “For one, Russia is currently one of the destinations where young Nigerians are trafficked for sexual exploitation. This is a worrying phenomenon for both our countries, and we should develop common strategies for tackling the problem…”
  • “…the Boko Haram sect, has continued to pose a serious challenge to the internal security of Nigeria… at the height of the crisis, we were having difficulty obtaining international support, Russia memorably saved the day by supplying military equipment and assisting us…”
  • “We are grateful that you did not abandon us in our hour of need. While Boko Haram is largely decimated now, the threat remains, and new terrorism challenges are arising…”
  • “In closing, permit me to express, once again, my delight in being here in your beautiful country. It has been a most pleasant experience. I must confess that, until my visit last year, I had not given much thought to how little I knew about your country.”
  • “The time has come for the world to get a measure of the real Russia. I would urge, therefore, that you consider more ways to enable other people experience the rich culture of this wonderful country…”
  • “The time has come for the world to get a measure of the real Russia. I would urge, therefore, that you consider more ways to enable other people experience the rich culture of this wonderful country…” #SarakiInRussia

 

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