President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria became the first leader of a sub-Saharan African nation to meet with President Donald Trump in Washington, where the two discussed counterterrorism and security concerns, bilateral trade and humanitarian issues on Monday.
“Nigeria and the United States share a long history of close and cordial relations, which encompass political, economic, military, social and cultural cooperation,” Buhari said during his press conference at the White House. “Our two countries maintain a strategic partnership for peace and security, conflict resolution as well as the global fight against terrorism.”
On security, Buhari welcomed U.S. support, including arms and aircraft sales, in the fight against extremists while promising anew that Nigeria is doing all it can to secure the release of the remaining abducted school girls from Dapchi and Chibok. “In this context, we will continue to welcome U.S. collaboration in intelligence gathering, hostage negotiations and information-sharing,” Buhari added.
On the economy, Buhari noted that trade volume with the United States stood at USD$6.1 billion in 2016, including $4.2 billion in Nigerian exports to the U.S. “Our aim is to diversify our own economy by focusing on agriculture and food security, power and infrastructure,” Buhari said, noting that he welcomed increased U.S. investment in the Nigerian economy, especially in the non-oil sector.
The Nigerian delegation also planned meetings with aviation and agricultural equipment companies, Boeing among them, as well as a GE-led consortium planning up to USD$2 billion in rail investments.
Image: Government of Nigeria