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NEWS UPDATE: Mary Beth Leonard: Reflections on 61 years of US-Nigerian engagement

NEWS UPDATE: Mary Beth Leonard: Reflections on 61 years of US-Nigerian engagement

As Nigeria celebrates its national daytime, we celebrate our enduring bilateral partnership with the continent’s regional, political, and economical powerhouse. We appreciate Nigeria’s leadership in the part, standing upward for the integrity of democratic nations in Westward Africa. Nigeria was amidst the foremost to sentence the recent coup in Republic of Guinea, regularly recognizes the demand for presidential term limits, and supports its best and brightest to serve in the highest ranks of international organizations – most lately demonstrated by Chikwe Ihekweazu’s recent appointment to Assistant Managing director-Full general at the World Health Organization.

The COVID-19 pandemic showed us all that global challenges require global solutions. Our mission squad partnered with Nigeria to tackle COVID-19 to preserve lives, promote economical recovery, and develop resilience as our experts worked side-by-side with the Presidential Task Strength, Ministry building of Health, and Nigerian Centre for Illness Command. We if to a greater extent than 4 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Nigeria and contributed to a greater extent than $84.2 million in COVID-related equipment and technical assistance including a mobile field infirmary, 200 ventilators, and personal protective equipment.

Additional vaccine donations are in the works. We conducted epidemiological COVID detection surveys, if rapid response teams, trained over 200,000 armed forces and civilian personnel on COVID-19 command measures, and transferred engineering for virtual preparation. Through the President’s Emergency Programme for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), supporting Nigeria since 2004, the U.S. regime at present is providing lifesaving handling to over 1.5 million of Nigeria’s estimated 1.8 million people living with HIV and remains committed to closing the gap to reaching HIV epidemic command by 2023.

We also recognize that security and economical concerns weigh on the minds of all Nigerians. We work in solidarity with the Nigerian regime to address those challenges together. Diplomacy, evolution, public wellness, and defence have long been pillars that provide the foundation for promoting and protecting U.S. national security interests abroad. Our bilateral human relationship is strong and based on such mutual interests. We portion the Nigerian regime’s recognition that, indeed, armed forces help will not be the exclusive tool to stop insecurity in the country.

A “whole of regime” approach is required to protect citizens and stabilize the country. And indeed, all Nigerians have a role to play in improving security. We have a long-standing partnership with the Nigerian armed forces and the Nigerian law that consists of advising, preparation, exercises, education, and armed forces systems and equipment, all of which are encompassed in the historic A-29 Super Tucano sale. These engagements emphasize the skills and processes that are critical to shaping effective militaries.

The United States of America supports Nigeria’s economical growth and its mutually favourable merchandise with the U.S. through both private sector engagement and government-supported initiatives – such as the Westward Africa Merchandise and Investment Hub, Prosper Africa, the U.S. Merchandise and Evolution Agency, and the Foreign Commercial Service. The U.S. is proud to be the largest humanitarian donor in Nigeria, providing $1.45 billion since 2015, and supporting an estimated 2 million conflict-affected households in the due north. The U.S. is looking forward to expanding on these economical relationships in the futurity.

We commend Nigeria on its efforts to encourage dialogue and transparency at all levels of governance and keep to partner with Nigeria on efforts to improve its governing capacity. We are focused on strengthening Nigeria’s democratic processes and institutions and encouraging liberty of information, including efforts to enforce accountability through credible and obvious elections. USAID’s partnerships with the federal and province governments, 200 civil society organizations, and the private sector are fulfilling these goals – by improving the electoral physical process, strengthening civil society advocacy for a to a greater extent obvious regime, reinforcing the role of local peace committees to resolve clash, and supporting transparency and service delivery improvements.

The Mission takes pride in its extensive people-to-people engagement fostering bridges betwixt our 2 nations. Finally twelvemonth the Migration Policy Institute famous that Nigerians in the U.S. are the most highly educated immigrant population in the United States of America, with 61 percent holding at to the lowest degree a bachelor’s level, compared to 31 percent of the total foreign-born population. Farther, to a greater extent than half of Nigerian immigrants (54 percent) occupy direction positions, compared with 32 percent of the total foreign-born population and 39 percent of the U.S.-born population. In add-on, ties are deepening in the fine art, cinema, fashion, and music spaces.

Nigeria’s potential is huge, immense. With Nigeria’s vibrant and innovative youth, we know that the best is yet to come up for this great land. As proud partners, we will keep to stand up by Nigeria and work towards a to a greater extent inclusive, peaceful, and affluent Nigeria.

Mary Beth Leonard is U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria

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