BANKOLE SEEKS RUSSIAN SUPPORT FOR PERMANENT UN SECURITY COUNCIL SEAT

By NBF News
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Speaker House of Representatives, Mr Dimeji Bankole, has taken the campaign for global support to make Nigeria a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to the Russian Parliament.

Bankole, who was in Russia on the invitation of the Speaker of Russian National Assembly (Duma), Mr. Boris Gryzlov, said Nigeria deserved to be a permanent member of the Security Council based on her strategic importance in Africa .

According to a statement from Kayode Odunaro, Special Adviser on Communications to Bankole , Nigeria had made valuable contributions to global security through peacekeeping operations.

Odunaro further stated that Bankole also called on the Russian lawmakers to impress it on the Russian Federation and relevant authorities on the need to allocate a plot of land in Moscow for Nigeria to build its embassy.

In furtherance to efforts to improve on the relationship between the two Parliaments, the Nigerian Speaker proposed the establishment of a joint parliamentary association during bilateral talks, as part of an International Parliamentary Conference between Russia and Africa with the theme 'Horizon of Cooperation.'

The two parliaments agreed to establish a joint body which would complement executive efforts of both countries with legislative support in the areas of mutually beneficial economic and technical relations made up specified numbers of members based on the agreement to establish the body, both parliaments will now nominate specified numbers of members.

On inquiry on the status and appeal from Mr. Gryzlov, Bankole informed that the Investment Protection Bill before Nigerian parliament in its final stages of passage, would be passed as soon as possible to assure Russian investors of safety investment.

Earlier on, Mr. Gryzlov had traced the recent developments of Nigeria-Russian relation to the visit of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to Russia which led to the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by both countries in the areas of oil and gas infrastructure, adding the Russia can also do business with Nigeria in the areas of power and gas storage facilities.

Gryzlov stated that he was totally in agreement with Bankole on the need for a parliamentary association and promised that this would come on stream as soon as the 'Duma' reconvenes for its 5th session. The Russian speaker further pledged that the issue of land allocation for a permanent building would be referred to the relevant agencies in view of the increased tempo of activities in relations, adding that Russia would also deliberate on the possibility of Nigeria selection into the UN Security Council.

On Bankole's entourage are Alhaji Ali Ndume, the Minority Leader, Mr Umar Bature, chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee, Sada Soli, chairman, Inter-Parliamentary Committee; and Diami Akpanahn, chairman, Legislative Compliance Committee and Mohammed Goni.