Abuja, NIGERIA — The United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, on Tuesday, said American companies are eager to work with Nigerian partners, particularly in the area of technology.
Blinken arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday as part of his week-long tour of Africa’s west coast as he seeks to bolster US-friendly democracies with security deteriorating in the Sahel.
Upon his arrival in Nigeria at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Blinken was received by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, Foreign Affairs Chief of Protocol and US Embassy Charge d’Affairs among others.
He thereafter headed to the Presidential Villa to see President Bola Tinubu.
After he met with the President and some government officials, Blinken and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, addressed journalists.
Blinken who said it was his third visit to Nigeria, recalled that at the UN General Assembly last year, “President Tinubu said, ‘Africa is nothing less than the key to the world’s future.’”
According to him, “Africa has shaped our past, it is shaping the present and it will shape our future”.
He said the issues discussed with Tinubu include driving climate action, science and technology and pushing for a permanent voice for Africa in the UN Security Council and others.
He said their focus was on economic growth, adding that “American companies are eager to partner with and invest in the Nigerian economy, particularly in the tech sector”.
“We want to work in partnership to help drive Nigeria’s technological revolution,” which according to him is creating jobs among other benefits.
“We have tech giants that have teamed up with Nigerian partners to help lead President Tinubu’s 1 million digital jobs initiative,” he said.
Regarding Nigeria’s role in the West African bloc and making reference to the Niger coup of 2023, Blinken said the US appreciates the African country’s leadership in Africa concerning its efforts to foster democracy.
Tuggar said several issues were discussed ranging from “food security to agriculture, pharmaceutical, and security itself in the region”.
He said, “I have to say the discussions were very fruitful.
“Tinubu brought up the issue of Nigeria’s membership and participation in the G20 as well as the UN Security Council. As we are all aware, Nigeria is the most populous nation in the African continent. It has the largest economy and therefore along with President Tinubu’s 4D foreign policy agenda of democracy, development, demography and diaspora, we feel it is necessary and deem it fit for Nigeria to be ably represented in these decision-making bodies.
“And we are aspiring for that, and to paraphrase the late Moshood Abiola, ‘You must not shave a man’s head in his absence,’ because by some accounts, as many as 60 percent of the resolutions passed by the UN Security Council are one way or the other related to Africa so Africa needs to be represented.”