by Isi Esene
President Barack Obama yesterday said the progress of Africa is inextricably linked with that of Nigeria, a development which underscores the country’s importance to the US policy thrust as it relates to trade, investments, and other key areas of bi-lateral engagement.
Obama made this known at the ongoing US-Nigeria Trade and Investment Forum, an event organised by the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDOA) in Washington DC.
The US president who was represented by Ambassador Eunice Roddick says Nigeria is the world’s next economic success story, stressing that this was one of the major reasons why the US is assisting the Nigerian government in removing trade and investment barriers as clearly evident in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
“As we support these efforts, the Diaspora can play an important role in contributing to a strong, vibrant and economically prosperous Nigeria” he noted.”
He said the US government would assist its Nigerian counterpart in its efforts at diversifying its economy from oil to other potential growth sectors of the economy like agriculture.
He highlighted the successes of the US-Nigeria Bi-national agreement noting the joint Commission’s achievements in the integration of civil society during the last general elections and other key developments.
He reportedly said: “Some key outcomes of the Bi-national Commission so far have been successful integration of civil society into the electoral process prior to the 2011 elections, sustained and elevated dialogue with energy sector officials on energy policy, reforms to increase investment, and agreement to support the development of a civil affairs training centre in the coming year.”
“Energy and Investment, the subject of one of the four working groups of the Bi-national Commission, is critical to Nigeria’s present and future,” he noted.
With the US government pledging its commitment in encouraging private investments in power generation and other critical sectors of the economy, perhaps we call all look forward to a rapid improvement in the country’s economic indicators.