The Russian Embassy in Nigeria has officially inaugurated ‘Istochnik’, a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) initiative to promote the Russian culture and language among Russians and others that may be interested.

This is contained in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday by the Embassy.

The Embassy said that the initiative, borne by a Russian citizen, Ogla Igbo also sought to promote Russian education in Nigeria.

Speaking at the official inauguration, Russian Minister-Counsellor in Nigeria, Mr Vasiliy Zolotuhin, said the initiative marked a new beginning for the Russian Community in Nigeria.

He said that Istochnik which actually commences in 2020 had gained momentum in the one year of its operation, hence the official inauguration being held.

“Today we celebrate the official inauguration of “Istochnik Initiative” as the second organization of Russian compatriots in Nigeria, the first being ‘Russian House’ in Lagos.

“I cannot help but mark the good choice of title for this NGO. The word “Istochnik” in Russian means ‘source’ or ‘spring, just like the NGO promises to become a spring of new fresh trends in life of the Russian Community in Abuja and Nigeria in general.

“From the Embassy’s end we are already doing the necessary to help ‘Istochnik Initiative’ integrate into the system of Russian governmental programs for Russian compatriots abroad,” he said.

Also speaking, Mrs Olga Igbo, the initiator, said it was a non-governmental and non-profit organisation that was registered with the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission on 28 January 2020.

She said that it was established to encourage interest in the Russian language and culture amongst Russian compatriots, Nigerians of Russian heritage as well as the Russian-speaking community in Nigeria.

“In addition, Istochnik Initiative aims to popularize Russian education in Nigeria and promote Russian universities in Nigeria.

“Furthermore, the NGO is expected to make use of the vast potential of Russian compatriots and Russian trained graduates to promote and foster Russian-Nigerian economic, social and business activities.

“Also, the NGO seeks to provide assistance to Russian compatriots and the Russian-speaking community at large in terms of social, financial, legal and  logistics support,” she said.

Mrs Olga Ivanovna IGBO is a renowned Russian Language/Literature specialist in Nigeria and Russia.

She has vast experience as a Russian Language lecturer in the University of Ibadan and a senior lecturer at V.I. Surikov Moscow State Academy Art Institute.