By Abdullah Bello (Abuja)
The United States says Nigeria deserves to be a permanent member of the UN Security Council to represent Africa.
The US Secretary of State, Mr Anthony Blinken, who stated this at a news conference in Abuja after a bilateral discussion with President Tinubu, said the United States was pushing for that.
The US Secretary of State’s latest visit to Nigeria was no doubt propelled by President Tinubu’s boast at the last UN General Assembly that “Africa is nothing less than the key to the world’s future”.
“Africa that shaped our past, it is shaping the present, and it will shape our future. The United States is committed to strengthening genuine partnerships of the continent to solve shared challenges and also to deliver on the promise and the fundamental aspirations of its peoples”.
“Nigeria, as Africa’s largest country, largest economy, largest democracy, is essential to that effort, and we are doing a lot of work together already as partners in the global coalition, we are pushing for permanent representation for African voices in the UN Security Council and other international organisations”, Blinken stressed.
For this reason, his engagement with President Tinubu focused on accelerating economic growth, tackling security challenges, corruption, and other factors dissuading the American business class from harnessing Nigeria’s endowments.
“American entrepreneurs, American companies are eager to partner with and invest in Nigeria’s economy, particularly in the tech sector. We have tech giants that are teamed up with Nigerian partners to help meet the president’s target of new 1 million digital Jobs Initiative other companies are part of the work laying undersea cables, using satellite technology to expand access to the internet. Our tech incubators are fostering Nigeria’s next startups. Our venture capital companies are working to finance so we want to work in partnership to help drive Nigeria’s technological revolution, which is creating jobs. It’s growing businesses and its growing innovations in both of our countries. Because one of the things we’ve learned from these partnerships is that they benefit us as much as any place or any company that we’re investing in. We’re learning a lot from we’re getting a lot. Nigeria offers real, clear, compelling opportunities for investors”, he explained.
He said he discussed with President Tinubu some ways that the United States could support his administration’s economic reformation efforts to protect those who might, again, in the short term, be negatively affected.
Earlier, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, said further engagements would be made shortly to concretise the discussions made between President Tinubu and Secretary Blinken.
“Several issues were discussed of bilateral nature as well as multi-lateral nature. They range from food security to agriculture, the pharmaceuticals, to security itself in the region, and I have to say that the discussions were very fruitful, and a decision was also made that several issues would be further discussed at the upcoming Nigeria-US Bi-national Commission, coming up between the 11th and the 13th of March”, Ambassador Tuggar, said.
Ambassador Tuggar said President Tinubu insisted during the meeting that Nigeria be given a permanent seat in the UN Security Council and membership of G20 countries.