Russia Releases Footage Of Ukraine Attack Of Fuel Depot In Belgorod Region

. Adegbite Laments Non -Completion Of Ajaokuta Steel Plant In Nigeria

By Lateef Adegbite

 With the entrant of the North American country of the Unites States, U S,European Union, EU, United Kingdom, UK and other Leading members of the North Atlantic Organisation, NATO, in the Ukraine- Russian war, which  had resulted in the cross-border attack  of a fuel storage depot in Belgorod, a city in Russia,  appears to have hardened Vladimir Putin, the Russian President to continue the war.

Although , Putin has been considering of softening up  to end the more than one –month –old war, he may be having a rethink to do so to see how far Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian and the Western Leaders, backing him would go.  The Russian Federation  Emergency  Press ministry  release  of the handout  photo  on Friday, April 1st, 2022,  of  the site of the  Ukrainian helicopter gunships attack at an oil depot in the country’s Belgorod region at the instance of the Kremlin  speaks volume.

Putin: Russian President

Russia had accused Ukraine of striking the fuel depot in the City of Belgorod, an incident, the Kremlin warned has’’ set an unfavourable tone for the ongoing Peace Negotiations between the two countries. The Footage of the alleged oil depot attack that was said to have been released by the Emergency Press ministry   showed ‘’what looks like several missiles being fired from a low Altitude flying helicopter gunships’’. Note that the depot is run by the state-owned energy giant Rosneft, about 21 miles from the Russian border with Ukraine.The Helicopter gunships attack of the Belgorod fuel depot may have sent a message  to Putin and his war Generals to go back to the drawing board.The fallout was that they have   tightened up security of the country’s air space to forestall any future attack of any facility in the country by Ukraine forces.

 Indeed, not many people were surprised that Ukraine helicopter gunships could fly at such a low altitude to enter a Russian territory, bomb a fuel depot and fly out dictated with the country’s radar. Barely a week ago, Vadym Denysenko, the Ukrainian Interior   minister, Adviser had cried out that Russia has started destroying Ukrainian fuel and food storage depots, meaning that that ‘’the government would have to disperse its stocks   in the near future.

President Zelenskyy Of Ukraine

They believe that the Ukrainian forces, at the instance of President Zelenskyy, their Commander –In-Chief, had taken the bold initiative to bomb the Belgorod fuel depot in Russia to prove a point that they can also bark and bite, thus sending a message to the Kremlin that if the country’s fuel and food storage depots could be destroyed, they should also expect the country’s fuel depots to be destroyed through guerilla war fare either by land or air.

President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General, who had expected the Russian Special Military Operation, SMO, in Ukraine , to end within days, is not happy  that it has entered into the second month which had affected the arms deal between the two countries.

President Buhari: Cannot Revive Ajaokuta Steel Plant As Promised

 The two countries have entered into an arms deal to help fight the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram, and theIslamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, in the north eastern states Of Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, including  the Bandits Group, in the north western states of Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and Niger, former Military President Ibrahim Baabangida, a retired Army General home state.

Recall that Nigeria had signed an agreement with Russia for the supply of military equipment, training of personnel and technology transfer.  The outcome of the deal has become increasingly visible since the acquisition and use of Russian-made combat and transport helicopters like the Mi-35M and Mi-171E and Mi-8, for military operations in the country.

 Informed security sources told The Value News that Russia’ invasion of Ukraine, has eroded the gains from the weapons deal. This is because the east European country is no longer finding it easy in making arms delivery to Nigeria to prosecute the insurgency war in the north east part of the country or fight the Bandits Group in the north western geo-political region part as expected.

The arms supply chain  situation became worse  with the  economic sanctions and trade embargo imposed on the country by the US and its allies, which have prevented it from gaining  access to cutting-edge technologies and thus, disrupted its supply chains and production, particular, for targeted defense Companies like Russian Helicopters JSC.

 According to a military source, the sanctions and trade embargo imposed against Russia,  in turn have affected the country’s capacity ‘’to provide efficient maintenance support and additional aircraft   supply to foreign Customers,particular, the Nigerian AirForce, NAF.  There is no gain saying the fact without the Russian’s arms supply to the Nigeria military, their power have severely lagged in the recent  time ,. This is evident with the increased Insurgency in Borno, Yobe and Banditry in Kaduna, Katsina , Zamfara and Niger states.

Badits Attack Of A Scheduled Abuja-Kaduna Train Services

The increased Bandits Group activities in Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and Kaduna. In the recent time speaks volume. The Bandits attack of the Abuja –Kaduna scheduled train service on Monday, March 28, 20222, bear eloquent testimony to the reign of the Bandits in the northwest part of Nigeria.

 Only recently, the Bandits had raided Yantumaki market in Danmusa Local government Area of Katsina, Buhari, home state, in broad day-light, killed one trader, wounded seven others and abducted several others into the nearby forest.   The Bandits were said to have attackedUngwar Bulus Community in Chikun Local government Area of Kaduna state where two persons on Thursday, March 31, 2022.

More worrisome of the effects of the global Pandemic and the Ukraine   -Russia war on Nigeria was the non-completion of the multi-dollar, Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill, in the Delta state, south-south Nigeria.  That much was confirmed by Olamilekun Adegbite, minister of Mines and Steel.

Given an insider information of the efforts made by the FG,   to facilitate the completion of the money guzzling Ajaokuta Steel plant, Adegbite, the minister of Mines and Steel, had said that ‘’the Negotiations between the two countries had  involved a $2million fee for a technical audit required to ascertain the state of the facility before works begin’’.

Ajaokuta Steel Plant

  The minister had said  that  the Buhari Administration  had ‘’successfully  convinced the  Russia company  that had built the Ajaokuta Steel plant  to come back to Nigeria and complete what it had started but  regretted that ‘’the it  will not be able  ‘’to deliver on its promise   before the end  of the current Administration in 2023.

Recall that in 2021, the FG, had made a budgetary provision of N4 billion for the Ajaokuta Steel plant, which was said to have gulped about $5.1 billion from previous Administrations. The budgetary provision for the Ajaokuta plant may have informed why the minister Mines and Steel had boasted in 2021, that the plant will function to full capacity before the expiration of the Buhari Administration in 2023. Prior to the Promise in 2021, he had said that in 22020 that the Steel plant was 90 % complete and may be functional by early 2023. The minister may have shocked Nigerians when he said ‘’where we are today, we may not be able to get Ajaokuta Steel plant to work’’.  Again,blame it on COVID 19 and Russia Invasion of Ukraine.  

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