–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –From Mike SOGBOLA:
THE United States (US) has told Nigeria of her readiness to lend support towards the country’s bid to contain insecurity.
The assurance was given during a meeting between the visiting US Deputy Security Adviser, Jonathan Finer and Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affiars, Geoffrey Onyeama, where security issues were discussed.
The US Deputy National Security Adviser said his country was willing to support Nigeria in every area.
Speaking to journalists after a closed door meeting, Finer said: “Going forward, the security issues are very pretty whether it’s terrorism or piracy, the US can support.
“You mentioned democracy. The President is very much looking forward to conveying the summit for democracy in December. The pillar of this summit is going to be issues relating to election, corruption.”
He added that: “Nigeria is not just a partner of the US but also a friend which is much appreciated. The time that we spent and the conversations we had are very constructive and the partnership over all.
“I will not repeat all of the Minister’s briefing but it does speak the enormous agenda that the two countries share. We talked about the pandemic and the delivery of vaccines and the next phase of this which is actually making sure that those vaccines are administered and get into peoples arms which is something we want to support”.
On climate change, Finer said U.S “welcome Nigeria’s committments to increase its ambition when it comes to climate change and we hope that it continues.”
“There are no significant issues on our mutual agenda that can be addressed without working together. So we are committed to continue doing that.”
Onyeama who received the US Deputy Security Adviser who is on a working visit to the country on Monday, said discussion was a broad range.
He said, “We talked about the security situation of the country; banditry, Boko Haram, Sessionist groups and other acts and challenges to insecurity including that of Guinea and how we can cooperate with the US in addressing all the issues.
“While acknowledging the tremendous support from the US in the area of security. The recent delivery of A29 fighters and supporting other areas.
“We assessed the situation in the Sahel beyond Nigeria right up to Libya and how we can work closely together to address the terrorist challenges and the security situation in Nigeria.”
On twitter, the minister said, “We talked about the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria and how that is progressing. “
The Minister also said that the issue of COVID-19 came up at the meeting.
“We talked about the COVID-19 context and the US has been very generous. Just very recent, last week, they provided again vaccines to Nigeria, 5.0 and then another vaccine of 3.5 million that were delivered to Nigerian Government. We are grateful to the US government for this generosity.”
The Minister added that the meeting discussed the issues of democracy, democracy in Nigeria and the importance of US to Nigeria as big democracies.
He said: “I gave an overview of the Democratic process and election process here in Nigeria. President Biden of the US will be conveying meeting/summit on democracy in December and I hope Mr. President will be invited.
“The issue of good governance, and corruption also came up for discussion.”
On trade, Onyeama said, “We talked about trade and the importance of facilitating market access to Nigeria especially in the agricultural sector and how to fix trade between Nigeria and the US. The US has the Africa Growth Opportunities Act which facilitates and encourages market access for African countries to the US and we also looked at how this can be further strengthened and improved.
“We also talked about consulate matters and visas; challenges that are been faced by Nigerians in terms of obtaining US visas.”
The minister who said the meeting covered human right, also commended Mr. Finer for “identify areas where we can strengthen and increase cooperation between the two countries.”
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