The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken in a meeting with Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo pledged US support and collaboration with Nigeria on climate change, infrastructure development, vaccine manufacturing, insecurity, among others.
The Vice President and Secretary Blinken disclosed this on Thursday after they held a meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, according to NAN.
Secretary Blinken is currently on a three-nation tour of Africa, as Blinken earlier stated that the United States Government excluded Nigeria from its list of religious violators.
What the Vice President said
He stated that there was a need to strengthen and improve relations between the US and Nigeria.
“And again, just to reaffirm what the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said on the importance of cooperation and the importance of working together.
“And it is critical; it is has been shown in the response to COVID-19; this is equally a way of showing how interconnected the whole world is.
“There is no real solution without everyone being protected from this pandemic and the possibility of others.
“And I will also like to thank you through a friend of the Government of the US for the cooperation on security which is very important to us—the Super Tucanos have been delivered and of course, we are looking forward to the helicopters” he added.”
On insecurity, Osinbajo stated that Nigeria needs cooperation with the US on infrastructure and the intelligence in the North-East and the Sahel, citing the Sahel and Lake Chad region with the ISWAP and many other armed groups.
On Climate Change he warned, “no industrialised nation is able to industrialise using renewable energy alone.”
He added that President Muhammadu Buhari had mentioned at COP26, especially around the whole issue of gas as zero transition fuel given the fact that some countries especially developing countries are fossil fuel-rich.
The Vice President stated that Nigeria is looking at adaptation and mitigation measures as it would be unfair to call on developing countries to rely on renewable energy, especially for industrialisation.
“And I think that we should look at how there is a public investment programme, especially for gas, because it remains the way through which we can increase access to electricity with its problem in developing nations and again it is closely tied to poverty.
“So, we think these are issues that we want to collaborate with you; again, to just say that we are very pleased with the work the US has done in Nigeria.
“I mentioned earlier that these are works that are somehow masked in a way to ensure that there is a bottom up approach.
“There is the participation of those that will be the beneficiaries in developing the programme which has been very helpful and I think that accounts for a lot of success we have seen in a good number of those programmes” he stated.
Secretary Blinken pledged US collaboration with Nigeria on climate change, investments in infrastructure, developing the capacity to manufacture vaccines, security, and others adding that both countries will focus on improved cooperation in many areas.
Nigeria’s Foreign Minister and US Secretary of State also agreed on the adoption of the Development Objective Assistant Agreement.
In case you missed it
Before his visit to Nigeria, Secretary Blinken revealed that the United States Government has excluded Nigeria from its list of religious violators just as it has blacklisted China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and 7 other nations as countries of particular concern for engaging in or tolerating systemic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom.
Nigeria’s government praised America’s removal of Nigeria from its list of religious violators, stating that it is committed to promoting religious harmony in the nation.