08 August 2014, Lagos – The bilateral trade between the United States of America and Nigeria has risen to $36 billion annually, President Goodluck Jonathan has said.
The president, who disclosed this late Wednesday in Washington DC., also called for more US investment in Nigeria.
According to him, the bilateral trade would continue to appreciate with greater cooperation between Nigeria and its allies in the United States government, as well as the private sector.
In a statement by Jonathan’s spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, the president spoke at a dinner held in his honour by the United States Chambers of Commerce and the Corporate Council on Africa.
Jonathan said his administration welcomed the support of the Obama’s administration as well as other organisations in the ongoing efforts to positively transform the Nigerian economy and ensure it becomes one of the twenty largest economies in the world by year 2020.
Jonathan also called for greater direct investment in Nigeria from the United States.
The president added that recent developments had shown that Obama was right, when he spoke in September last year of increasing international recognition of Nigeria’s role in the global economy.
He added: “Our economy has since been rebased and it is now the largest in Africa. We are the 26th largest economy in the world and the largest trading partner of the United States in Africa. Latest figures show the volume of trade between Nigeria and the US to be $36 billion and still counting.
“Between last year and now, we hosted the World Economic Forum on Africa which was attended by 1,000 participants from 70 countries. The forum attracted over $68 billion in investment to the African continent in the form of FDI as well as private and public investments targeted at projects that would foster the agriculture sector, improve infrastructure such as roads, railways, hospitals, education, skill development and ICT across African countries.”
Continuing, the president told the gathering: “We remain the largest source of natural gas and have large areas of unexploited fertile lands for agriculture. We have a huge stock of untapped solid minerals and we continue to make Nigeria an attractive destination for foreign investors through the constant implementation of our policy of creating an attractive and conducive climate for investors.”
He equally explained to his audience at the dinner that while the oil and gas industry remains Nigeria’s main source of revenue and foreign exchange earner, his administration was working very hard to fully diversify the economy, saying that he would welcome greater support from the United States for its efforts to make other sectors of the Nigerian economy more productive.
He assured American investors that his administration was taking all necessary action to overcome the Boko Haram insurgency and achieve greater security of lives and property in all parts of Nigeria.
– This Day