The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari and the United States President Donald Trump had a meeting at the White House in Washington.
The meeting was a huge success as so many important issues relating to Nigeria were discussed. This was confirmed by Ahmad Bashir, the Personal Assistant to the Nigerian President on News Media.
You would recall that last week, the Nigerian President departed Nigeria for US primarily for this official working visit.
During a joint press conference which was part of the one-day official working visit to the White House, President Buhari said his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump yielded positive results for Nigeria in the areas of the security, economy, and anti-corruption which were primary issues of great concern.
The Nigerian president was quick to share about the history of close and cordial relations between the United States and Nigeria.
He also said, “We also share common features as secular federal states, practicing a similar democratic model of governance and committed to the universal values of fundamental human rights and freedoms, free enterprise, social justice and the rule of law”.
“President Trump and his team and myself and the Nigerian team discussed issues related to security, trade, governance, human rights and humanitarian crises.”
He recognised the strong U.S. support in Nigeria’s fight against terrorism. One of the things he appreciated Donald Trump for was for the U.S. agreement to sell twelve (12) Super Tucano A-29 war planes and weapons to Nigeria to effectively fight against terrorism.
He also said,“We expressed gratitude for U. S. support in the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in the North East of Nigeria, as well as humanitarian assistance to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), through agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other international partners”.
“The USA has been to date the biggest contributor to the humanitarian response and last year gave approximately 500 million U.S. Dollars in cash and in-kind contributions through the United Nations and other inter-governmental organisations.”- President Buhari.
On the issue of violent attacks by herdsmen, Mr Buhari said the government was taking necessary steps to promote the peaceful co-existence of herdsmen and farmers, by focusing on boosting security and enforcing legislation that will guarantee herders and farmers access to land.
On the economy, Buhari said: “Nigeria’s trade volume with the United States stood at 6.07 billion dollars, according to 2016 statistics and comprised 4.176 billion dollars worth of Nigerian exports to the U.S. and 1.894 billion dollars U.S. exports to Nigeria. We urged greater effort to increase these figures substantially.”
He equally thanked the U.S. government for the cooperation Nigeria had received in its effort to recover stolen funds.
“Our two governments have put the machinery in place for their respective Attorneys-General to collaborate in ensuring the return to Nigeria of over 500 million dollars of looted funds siphoned away in banks around the world”.
“In this connection, we congratulated the US government on launching a Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative which was spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering.
The meeting would lead to a renewed relationship between both countries and aid the quest to further develop several sectors within Nigeria.