Thursday, March 31, 2016 6:35 am
The United States-Nigeria Bi-National Commission meeting has opened in Washington with a pledge of more than $600 million of investment by the US in Nigeria this year.
Secretary of State John Kerry announced this during the opening session of the meeting.
The Nigerian delegation was led by Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyema, supported by other officials including Nigerian Charge d’Affaires Hakeem Balogun.
Those with Kerry include leaders from the State Department, USAID, the Defence Department, Commerce Department, and other key agencies. The U.S. Ambassador James Entwistle also attended.
Kerry, who hailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s actions in office in the area of security and the attempt to diversify the economy, said:”Our development assistance this year will top $600 million, and 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.
“And our long-term food security programme, Feed the Future, is helping to create more efficient agriculture and to raise rural incomes in doing that.
“Our Young African Leaders Programme, in which many Nigerians participate, is preparing the next generation to take the reins of responsibility….and in education, we are working together to try to fight illiteracy, especially in the country’s north, where the lack of opportunity has been holding people back, and where the terrorist organisation, Boko Haram, has murdered thousands and disrupted the lives of millions.”
Onyema expressed optimism on a successful outcome as the meeting went into a closed session.