New Telegraph

Ukraine War: Vessels heading to Nigeria, others trapped with $22.2bn wheat

No fewer than 50 ships with 24 million tonnes of wheat valued at $22.2 billion ordered by flour millers in Nigeria and other parts of Africa have been trapped at the Mediterranean sea over the refusal of Russian troops to give greenlight to sail through. It was gathered that Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Benin and others are heavily hit by wheat shortage, culminating in food crisis. The ships are unable to complete their voyages to West African ports because of the on-going Russian- Ukrainian war. Findings revealed that the current global price of wheat as at June 27, 2022 has reached $926.75 per metric tonne. Apart from the 24 million tonnes of wheat, other ships are currently stranded at the Ukraine ports waiting to evacuate other food items to Africa and the Middle East.

A former Nigerian Ambassador to Russia, Jubrin Dada Chinade, in an interview with our correspondent, revealed that the on-going war in Ukraine was fueling shortage of food globally, adding that Nigeria depends on Russia and Ukraine for food security and energy. Chinade explained that the war was dragging without diplomatic solution, saying that food shortage could get worse globally. Speaking on the adverse effects of the Russia/Ukraine war on Africa’s economy, he said: “Only recently, the Chairman of African Union (AU), Macky Sall of Senegal had a fruitful meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Sochi with the aim of finding out opportunities for the ships because Russia blocked the Red Sea and there is well over 40 ships waiting to evacuate wheat and other food items to Africa.

“Parts of the Middle East and North Africa, Algeria and Egypt have been heavily hit by wheat shortage and the president of the African Union was in Sochi, Southern parts of Russia to meet President Putin with a view to allowing some of these ships to bring out the food – rice or wheat – to Africa. “And I think negotiations are being quite useful. But negotiations are taking time on the war resolution. One of the things the world are hoping was that Putin’s green light would unlock and get those grains out of the Ukrainian ports, the 24 million tonnes of wheat that we are talking about at the Ukraine ports.

“Realistically, I think even the metric tonnes of wheat, how we can handle it and how the Russians are able to appreciate and understand the increasing food and security in the continent of Africa and chance of finding solutions together would be an important discussion in the dispute. “I think my closing remark is I’m a bit disappointed with the United Nations with the level of engagement in finding a solution to the crisis. These are war crises and this could lead to third world war. “These are nuclear powers; America, Britain, France, Germany against Russia.

Russia, are all nuclear power nations in the world. And the level of consultation and implication for Russian security is so deep rooted there must be a solution. “And I believe if the World leaders, particularly among the UN, have been crippled by the Security Council because Russia is a member of the Security Council and it could lead a veto if the thing is not in their interest and America too could lead a veto if it is not in their interest too.” On Nigerians studying in Ukraine, he noted that 5,000 Nigerian students were studying in Ukraine, saying that Kano had about 400 students there. He added that Ukraine educational system was one of the best in Europe, stressing that 50 embassies had returned to Kiev for opening operations.

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