• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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US companies ready to invest in Nigeria – Blinken

US-secretary-Antony Blinken

The United States, on Tuesday, said its companies are ready to invest in the Nigerian economy.
Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, gave the assurance while fielding questions from State House Journalists after a bilateral meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The US top diplomat was received at President Tinubu’s forecourt office at about 6.55 pm.

Top government officials who received him were the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila; the Minister of Foreign Affairs; the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris; and the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake.

Blinken said the country offers clear, compelling opportunities for investors.

Antony Blinken stated that the US and Nigeria had engaged in robust and constructive discussions on Nigeria/United States bilateral relations.

He disclosed that the discussion expanded its frontiers in several areas of shared mutual interests.

He noted that the big focus of the binational Commission remains some impediments in the systems.

Speaking on how to maximize opportunities in investment, Blinken called for the repatriation of capital, which he said ” is important.”

The Secretary informed us that the bilateral with the President dwelt on a range of shared priorities, including our focus on accelerating economic growth and opportunity here.

He added: “This (Nigeria) is a place of extraordinary innovation, extraordinary dynamism. I’ve had the opportunity to visit many times over the years. I’ve seen that every time, and I expect to see more of that tomorrow at the latest.

“American entrepreneurs and American companies are eager to partner with and invest in Nigeria’s economy, particularly in the tech sector.

“We have tech giants that are teamed up with Nigerian partners to help me president’s news 1 million digital Jobs Initiative. Other companies are part of work laying undersea cables, using satellite technology to expand access to the internet. Our tech incubators are fostering Nigeria’s next startups.

“Our venture capital companies are working to finance, so we want to work in partnership to help drive Nigeria’s technological revolution, which creates jobs. It’s growing businesses and innovations in both of our countries.

“Because one of the things we’ve learned from these partnerships is that it benefits us as much as any place or company we’re investing in. We’re learning a lot from we’re getting a lot. One of the initiatives that President Biden laid out was the digital transformation with Africa Initiative. We see it as a particularly energized and triggered focus for us.

“We’re collaborating to support the development and use of artificial intelligence for good with 30 other Atlantic countries. We’re driving blue economic development, environmental protection, science and technology exchange through a new partnership for learning cooperation.”

While welcoming President Tinubu’s “bold reforms to unify the currency and end fuel subsidy” he stressed the need to remove impediment to capital repatriation.

He said: “Nigeria offers real opportunities for investors. At the same time, I think it’s no secret that long-term challenges must be removed to unlock their full potential, making it easier for foreign companies to repatriate capital.

“We hear impediments from our business community that stand in the way of maximizing those opportunities. One is the repatriation of capital. I know that the Central Bank governor is working on that. And second is the ongoing effort to combat corruption because companies that come in and invest want to make sure that they’re going to be investing at a fair level playing field, and corruption, of course, is a big impediment event.”

In his remark, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Yusuf Tuggar, said the bilateral also discussed issues such as food security, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and security in the sub-region, noting that the discussions were fruitful.

Apart from Nigeria, Blinken is visiting Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, and Angola as he seeks to reinforce the US commitment to stronger relations with democracies in the subregion amid global crises.