By, Uchechukwu Ugboaja – Abuja
Following the previous courtesy call to Prof. Steve Azaiki in the National Assembly by the Belarusian Consul to Nigeria, Sergei Zaitsev in July 2021, the Lawmaker representing Yenagoa/Kolokuma-Opokuma Federal Constituency, Bayelsa Sate, Prof. Steve Azaiki, OON. visited the Belarusian Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E Amb. Vyachelslev BRIL and invited him to the formal commissioning of the newly built skills acquisition centre in Polaku, Yenagoa.
This newly built skills acquisition centre is one of the legacy capital projects influenced by the Yenagoa born Federal Lawmaker, Prof. Steve Azaiki who believes that this skills acquisition centre will further promote the training of participants in the area of carpentry and furniture making, electrical trainings, P.O.P designs and other building related skills. He believes that in addressing developmental gaps in developing societies, three key areas must be focused which include Skills Acquisition, Educational Exchange Program and Agriculture.
Prof. Azaiki continued the conversation by appreciating the Belarusian state for the cooperation and mutual benefits enjoyed from the existing partnerships, especially in education after having graduated nearly 50 Bayelsans from Belarusian medical institutions.
Prof. Azaiki informed the Ambassador of some of the committees he is serving in the House of Representatives including Foreign Affairs, Tertiary Education and Science & Technology where he believes that better partnership can be fostered, while promising to engage his colleagues in the committee of Army, Defense etc. in case the Belarusian Government is interested in exploring relations in these areas.
Prof Azaiki also told the Ambassador of the newly established airport built by the Bayelsa State government and encouraged the Ambassador to pay the state a visit that the state governor H.E Sen. Duoye Diri will be willing to receive the Ambassador & his team to explore further areas of mutual benefit.
The ambassador was informed by Prof. Steve Azaiki about the newly built skills acquisition centre constructed in Polaku, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and requested the Ambassador to consider supporting the centre with technical experts and modern equipment for use in the newly built training/skills acquisition centre established in his constituency Yenagoa/Kolokuma-Opokuma Federal Constituency, Bayelsa State.
The Ambassador in his remarks responding to the Federal Lawmaker’s comments stated that since he arrived in Nigeria in 2019 the Belarusian government has been able to increase the partnership & cooperation between Nigeria and Belarus in medicine & health, education, agriculture, waste management etc.
The Belarusian government have also had partnership with the Ministry of Interior where about 20 firefighters have been trained in Belarus. The Ambassador however, stated that there are plans in the offing to have the Belarusian President visit President Muhammadu Buhari very soon.