President Barack Obama of the United States has assured of continued assistance to Nigeria especially in key sectors like
agriculture that would ensure that the country comes out of its
He further assured that his administration was putting everything
in place for sustained partnership and cooperations between the two
countries even after he leaves office.
He made the pledge when he met with President Muhammadu Buhari on the sideline of the ongoing 71st United Nations
General Assembly holding in New York City.
This is Obama’s outing at the UN as President of the United States. His tenure will come to an end in January 2017 after the Presidential election in November this year.
The US President at the meeting described economic reforms by Buhari’s administration as bold adding that America will continue to offer support to the country in areas of agricultural development, recovering of the stolen funds, the fight against Boko Haram which he described as a branch of ISIL as well as the renewed agitation in the Niger Delta which is hampering the production of crude oil and cutting down on the country’s revenue.
Nigeria is currently in recession as inflation and unemployment rates are put on all time decade high.
Renewed militancy in the Niger Delta region has resulted in the blowing up of oil and gas installations in the country, that has impacted on the oil production reducing from 2.2million barrels per day on which the country’s 2016 budget was predicated to about one million barrels per day.
“We wish him (Buhari) well as he is going to President longer than I am and that gives us the sense of urgency to make sure that we gather everything that we can to put in place the framework for cooperation in partnerships for many more years to come
“…To restrict Boko Haram, a brutal organisation affiliated with ISIL that has killed a large number of people and decimated communities. Because of President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership, we have been able to refocus the Nigerian military.
“We discussed broader issues on development and the President is
taking some very bold economic reforms in allowing for a flexible exchange rate. We are focusing on agriculture production and we
pledged to offer all the assistance that we can in that area and as the President is trying to stamp out corruption and to recover external funds that may have been illegally obtained and are sitting
in bank accounts around the world, as he continues to work to see that the security forces inside Nigeria are abiding professional and human right standards what we have pledged is that we would partner in any way that we can to be helpful” Obama said during a briefing after the bilateral which held behind closed doors.
The US President said his administration is carefully coordinating additional ways to make further progress in not only destroying Boko Haram but to ensure that the region fully recovers from the devastation by ensuring that they receive adequate humanitarian aid. America, he said is also willing to assist Nigeria to facilitate a reduction of the conflict in
the Niger Delta region.
“We are coordinating carefully like we discussed here today additional ways that we can make further progress not only in destroying this branch of ISIL but also to make sure that the people in the region are able to recover from the devastation of Boko Haram occupation that includes making sure that humanitarian aid is getting in.
“There is a real danger, famine, and hardship in these areas because
farmers were not able to grow crops and engage in traditional agriculture and engage in traditional agricultural practices and so we had a discussion on how we can work together to ensure an international response then move forward to help these communities rebuild” he said.
America is willing to help in any way it can to facilitate a reduction of conflict in the Niger Delta region a major oil-producing region, but one that has been mired by a number of militant organisations that
have appropriated or syphoned off the oil revenues and the President I think is wisely heading a delegation to bring varying stakeholders together and try to make progress on that front. We want to be helpful in any way that we can, Obama said.
Buhari responding, thanked Obama for the assistance rendered so far in the fight against terrorism, especially in the training of the Nigerian military in both hard and software adding that Nigeria steady
progress is being made towards resolving the problem in the Niger Delta region which has led to economic sabotage on a grand scale.