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US did not predict Nigeria’s break-up in 2015 – Envoy

HE United States of America’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Terrence McCulley, has denied that the US predicted that Nigeria might break up in 2015.

McCulley said this in Ibadan on Thursday while speaking with journalists during his visit to Oyo State.

He said, “No US government official predicted that Nigeria will break up by 2015. That statement must have emanated from a private agency but clearly not from the government. I must state at this point that the US is interested in Nigeria as a very important country in Africa. We have been impressed by the role played by Nigeria in the peace process in the sub-region and even beyond.”

McCulley said the Boko Haram insurrection in Nigeria, apart from being a security problem, has socio-economic undertone.

This, according to him, “explains our support for Nigeria through the USAID polio scheme, the disbursement of funds to fight poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic and more.”

He explained that one of the reasons for the violence in the country was the wide social disparity between the North and South in the area of education and economic prosperity.

He said, “We have been worried about the series of bombings in Maiduguri, Kano and Abuja. We had active dialogue in the wake of the recent bombings. We recognise the fact that this is not just a security problem but there is a wide disparity between the North and the South in the area of education and economy.”

The ambassador said the US, as Nigeria’s friend and partner, would continue to give necessary backing and support to the country in its drive towards freedom from insecurity, corruption and economic depression.

He added that there had been a long and robust relationship between the two countries.

He said considering the roles played by Nigeria in West Africa, Africa and the world in general, the US deemed it necessary to collaborate with it in order to address the problem of insecurity and corruption.

He said, “We have an ongoing capacity building programme with Nigeria in the area of security. We have a very robust relationship with the Nigerian Navy. We had active dialogue with the Nigerian government in the wake of the recent bombing.”

Meanwhile, Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has sought the support of the US towards the promotion of an all-inclusive growth and sustainable development of Oyo.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Festus Adedayo, Ajimobi said the support of the US was critical to enhancing the livelihood and the standard of living of the people of the state.

 

As a way forward, he suggested that the country should apply a holistic approach in tackling the country’s problem. He said, “Government should create an enabling environment to encourage those who have the mind to invest. Nigerians are very dynamic and enterprising people. But corruption is a fundamental problem that the government must be ready to address. Corruption undermines confidence and creates more gap between the government and the governed.

“Just like Nigeria, we have a mechanism by which we go after those who corrupt the public procurement process and the culprits are prosecuted. In Nigeria, prosecution must be taken as very important.”

The ambassador, who stressed the importance of leadership in addressing the nation’s problems said, however that there was no perfect democracy anywhere in the world. Making reference to the US experience, he said that Nigeria government and people must have a sense of focus and must be ready to tackle all forms of vices that constituted threats to national growth and development.

He commended the governments of Oyo and Kwara states for their agricultural initiatives. The ambassador said that agriculture, which contributed about 42 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, could be developed in a bid to make the nation self sufficient in food production and to earn foreign income through exportation of food.

-Punch

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Posted by on Feb 2 2012. Filed under Africa & World Politics, Latest Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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