• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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US to assist FG with $1.3m gas project, repatriate stolen assets

US to assist FG with $1.3m gas project, repatriate stolen assets

The United States (US) Government has pledged to assist the Federal Government with a $1.3 million gas project to generate the energy resources that are needed to fuel growth in the country and also vowed to help Nigeria recover its stolen assets stashed abroad.

The US Deputy Secretary of State, John Sullivan, who announced this in his statement, during the 2017 Nigeria-US Binational Commission (BNC) held in Abuja on Monday, said the project would be realized through the US government’s Power Africa Initiative through the Department of State’s Power Sector Programme.  He, however, did not give a date for the commencement of the project and the time frame.

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The BNC is a broad-based high-level bilateral tie between Nigeria and the US established in 2010 to strengthen relations in key areas of security, economic growth and development, and good governance. The theme for this year’s BNC is “Shared Prosperity.”

“That is why the U.S. government will soon launch a Commercial and Investment Dialogue.  Led by our Department of Commerce, the Dialogue will help to develop stronger business networks between our countries and help frame subsequent discussions under our Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, to be led by the Office of the US Trade Representative,” he said.

He added that the US will also assist Nigeria in the fight against corruption saying “as President Buhari has said so many times, Nigeria’s future depends on its ability to end the scourge of corruption.  Since the last BNC, Nigeria has begun implementation of the 14 ambitious commitments in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan.

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“We will continue to work closely with the Government of Nigeria on repatriating stolen assets to the people of Nigeria, and as such, we are pleased to co-host the Global Forum on Asset Recovery in December.”

A joint communiqué issued at the end of the one -day meeting and read by Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama,    said this year’s BNC focused on advancing US-Nigerian shared prosperity, including discussion on three main areas of Security Cooperation, Economic Growth and Development, and Good Governance and Democracy. On the issue of security, both countries vowed to continue to fight against Boko Haram militants that have destabilized the northeast region and other violent activities in the country.

On economic Growth and Development, the communiqué said both countries will strive harder to deepen economic cooperation and fight corruption while on. Governance and Democracy, the US pledged to assist Nigeria to ensure that the electoral process of the 2019 election is fair free and transparent.

 

Innocent Odoh, Abuja