The United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, yesterday said that the U.S. government planned to invest $600 million in Nigeria as development assistance to the country in the current financial year. Kerry, who gave this hint in a statement issued by the Public Affairs Unit of the U.S Embassy in Abuja, was quoted as making the disclosure at a bilateral meeting between Nigerian and U.S. officials in Washington D.C. He stated: “Our development assistance this year will top 600 million dollars.We are working closely with your leaders, the leaders of your health ministry, to halt the misery that is spread by HIV/ AIDS, by malaria, and by TB.’’
While commending the President Buhari-led administration’s actions in the area of security and the attempt to diversify the economy, Kerry said that the U.S. government was encouraged by by the efforts being put by the government to diversify the Nigerian economy in order to make it less dependent on a single commodity for export earnings, and that means we need to develop sustainability. According to him , sustainable growth depends on a climate that is welcoming to investment and respectful of the environment and of workers’ rights. He explained further that the U.S. Power Africa Initiative was aimed at strengthening the energy sector, where shortage in electricity frustrated the population and impeded growth.
Similarly, he noted that the U.S. Young African Leaders Programme which many Nigerians participate in, was preparing the next generation to take the reins of responsibility just as he also said his government was also working with Nigeria in the area of education to fight illiteracy, especially in the Northern part of the country. In his remarks, Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, was quoted as commending the U.S. support to the Nigerian government’s initiatives aimed at diversifying the country’s economic base He said: “We’re really looking to diversify into areas such as agriculture, solid minerals and other extractive industries. We have to promote our manufacturing sector and look at sustainable economic growth. For sustainable economic growth, we appreciate that we have to also develop a manufacturing base.’’ Onyeama restated the Federal Government’s determination to ensure improved Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, inflows into the economy as a strategic option of boosting growth, creating jobs and achieving macroeconomic stability in the country.
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