The governments of United States and Nigeria have reiterated the need to strenghten security cooperation, economy, and development in both countries.
It would be recalled that during President Muhammadu Buhari’s July 20-22, 2015 visit to Washington, Buhari and US Secretary of State, John Kerry underscored the need to strengthen and revitalise the Bi-National Commission (BNC) to advance both nations overall relationship and spur joint action on key issues.
In a joint communiqué made available to LEADERSHIP Friday it noted that the BNC’s discussion on security cooperation was co-chaired by Minister of Defence of Nigeria, Mansur Dan-Ali and Deputy Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.
The BNC agreed to take further actions to advance US-Nigeria security cooperation to promote peace and security in Nigeria, especially in North East Nigeria and the broader Lake Chad region. Both sides recognised that this cooperation includes, but is not limited to military cooperation.
The BNC noted the continued threat to peace and security posed by Boko Haram, which is now an affiliate of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) saying that the US has reaffirmed its support for Nigeria and its neighbours in countering this threat.
The BNC noted that the governments’ bilateral security cooperation focuses both on immediate threats and medium and long term security and stabilisation objectives.
On economic growth and development, the BNC’s discussion was co-chaired by Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah and Deputy Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.
The Nigerian side expressed appreciation for the efforts of the US government and the contributions of key stakeholders such as the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) and the US Chamber of Commerce towards the successful hosting of the Nigerian –United States Business Forum and reception dinner.
Both sides acknowledged the major outcomes of the business forum stressing the need for increased United States investments in Nigeria through the provision of an enhanced business climate, policy predictability, and transparency.
The BNC’s discussion on good governance and democracy was co-chaired by Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and Deputy Secretary Antony Blinken.
The BNC noted the historical importance of Nigeria’s 2015 elections and the peaceful transition that ensued. The United States intends to support Nigerian efforts towards improving the quality of elections, and looks to Nigeria to support elections and democracy throughout Africa.
The BNC decided to strengthen their joint efforts in support of good governance, anti-corruption, and enhanced delivery of public services, including national institutional frameworks for peace building and conflict management to strengthen Nigeria’s democracy and promote inclusive prosperity.
The BNC discussed issues including climate change, strengthening ECOWAS to promote regional economic integration.