• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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US reaffirms commitment to Nigeria at independence day celebration

US reaffirms commitment to Nigerian ties at independence day celebration

The United States has reaffirmed its strong and evolving commitment to Nigeria as it celebrates its 248th national independence on July 4.

During the celebration at the Consul General’s residence in Ikoyi, Lagos, Will Stevens, the US Consul General announced new collaborative projects and asserted Nigerians of the cultural and economic ties between the two nations.

Earlier this year, Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State and Kurt Campbell, the Deputy Secretary made diplomatic visits to Nigeria for high-level engagements aimed at exploring and expanding the US-Nigeria partnership in critical sectors such as trade and investment, security, health, technology, and cultural exchange.

In April, the US and Nigeria held the 6th US-Nigeria Binational Commission where new projects in energy, agriculture, and the digital economy were launched.

Notably, a $75 million investment by U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) was announced to support the development, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of Indorama’s third urea-ammonia fertilizer facility in Port Harcourt, and a $50 million USAID Water for the World Country Plan, a five-year plan approved in July 2023. The US also affirmed support for the new $90 Million Power Africa Program to help on and off-grid development over the next five years.

“These events are a testament to the strength of the partnership between our two nations,” said Stevens to dignitaries present including Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State Governor among other governors and deputy governors.

Reflecting on the shared democratic values of the US and Nigeria, Stevens emphasised the US and Nigeria’s position as the two largest democracies in the world.

“A few weeks ago, we gathered with our Nigerian partners to observe Democracy Day and celebrate 25 years since Nigeria’s return to democracy. As the two largest presidential democracies in the world, the United States and Nigeria serve as robust examples for the rest of the globe,” said Stevens.

“We have a shared commitment, as President Lincoln said, to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And we recognise that democracy is not a destination, but a continuous journey where elected officials and citizens work together to address the needs of all.

“This shared vision makes the United States and Nigeria natural partners, friends, and allies on so many important issues across the continent and the globe.”

Stevens stressed the significant contributions of the Nigerian diaspora in the United States noting that “over 700,000 people of Nigerian descent reside in the U.S., the largest diaspora from any African country.”

The event’s theme, “The Great American Roadtrip,” symbolically represented this influence, featuring booths dedicated to states with significant Nigerian populations, including California, Georgia, New York, and Texas.

The Consul General has revealed that later this month, President Biden’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement, which includes two Nigerian Americans, will visit Nigeria to explore how the strong “people-to-people ties can further enhance economic prosperity for both nations.

Richard Mills, the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria was also introduced at the event and is expected to arrive Lagos soon to meet with key stakeholders.