…calls for ease in capital repatriation
The United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, has reiterated the US commitment to fostering economic growth and strengthening partnerships with Nigeria.
Blinken, who arrived Nigeria as part of his four-nation African tour, highlighted the readiness of American businesses and entrepreneurs to engage in Nigeria’s economy, particularly in the tech sector, during a bilateral discussion with President Bola Tinubu.
He acknowledged the attractive investment potential in Nigeria and spoke about the long-term obstacles that still need to be addressed, such as the continued fight against corruption and the repatriation of capital.
Though aware of the short-term effects these economic reforms would have on vulnerable people, he nevertheless voiced support for Nigeria.
On security, Blinken highlighted intense focus on security challenges in the Sahel, emphasizing support for Nigeria and Lake Chad partners.
He extended condolences for recent attacks in Nigeria and reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to supporting Nigeria’s efforts for a more secure, peaceful, and prosperous future.
He noted that the bilateral with President Tinubu dwelt on a range of common priorities, including our focus on accelerating economic growth and opportunity here.
He added: “This is a place of extraordinary innovation, extraordinary dynamism. I’ve had the opportunity to visit many times over over the years. I’ve seen that each and every time and I expect to see more of that latest tomorrow.
“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 me president’s news one million digital Jobs Initiative other companies are part of 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 it’s growing innovations in both of our countries.
“Because one of the things we’ve learned from these partnerships is that it benefits us as much as any place or any company that we’re investing. We’re learning a lot from we’re getting a lot. And one of the initiatives that President Biden laid out the digital transformation with Africa Initiative, we see it as particularly energized and triggered focus for us.
“Now, Nigeria offers real, clear, compelling opportunities for investors. At the same time. I think it’s no secret that there remains some long term challenges that need to be overcome, to really unlock the full potential, tackling corruption, making it easier for foreign companies. to repatriate capital, these will all pull in a transformative direction and pull in transformative direct investment.”
Noting the cooperation between the US and Nigeria, Blinken said: “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.
To drive a positive direction. We’re driving climate action.
“As partners in the global nothing coalition we’re pushing for permanent representation crafting voices, the UN Security Council in other international organizations that need to reflect the realities of today, not just the day that they were created, many many years ago.
“We’re working in collaborating to support the development and use of artificial intelligence for good with 30 other Atlantic countries. We’re driving blue economic development, environmental protection, science and technology exchange, through a new partnership for learning cooperation.”
While welcoming President Tinubu’s “bold reforms to unify the currency and end fuel subsidy” he stressed the need to remove impediment to capital repatriation.
He said: “Nigeria offers real opportunities for investors at the same time I think it’s no secret that there remains long term challenges that need to be removed to he able to really unlock the full potential, making it easier for foreign companies to repatriate capital.
“There remain some impediments that we hear from our own business community that I think stand in the way of maximizing those
“One is the repatriation of capital. I know that the Central Bank governor is working on that. And second is the ongoing effort to combat corruption because companies that come in and invest want to make sure that they’re going to be investing with a fair level
playing field and corruption, of course, is a big impediment event.”
In his remark, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Yusuf Tuggar said the bilateral also discussed issues such as food security, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and security in the subregion, noting that the discussions were fruitful.
(Dailly Sun, excluding headline)