Buhari in Riyadh, Meets US Treasury Secretary

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*Seeks Infrastructure Financing from America

By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, met with the United States Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, to request for additional capital from the US development finance institutions for the upgrade of critical infrastructure in Nigeria.

A statement by presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu Thursday, said both men had positive discussions on investments in Nigeria under the new United States International Development Finance Corporation (USIDFC), which provides $60 billion for investments in developing nations.

At the meeting held on the margins of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) forum, Shehu said Buhari told Mnuchin that Nigeria would leverage on this US facility to address current challenges confronting its power sector as well as the general upgrade of infrastructure.

According to him, the president thanked the US government for supporting Nigeria’s anti-terrorism efforts.

He also said the president and Mnuchin discussed areas of strengthening Nigeria’s ongoing collaboration with the United States on how to stop terrorism financing.

The statement added that Mnuchin was accompanied by Brent Macintosh, the Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs and Marshall Billingslea, Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing in the United States Treasury Department.

“The Treasury Secretary used the occasion to introduce Macintosh who was recently promoted Under Secretary for International Affairs by President Trump after the previous Under Secretary, David Malpass, was elected President of the World Bank.

“The Nigerian leader congratulated Macintosh on his elevation and requested for his continued support to Nigeria especially in accessing the $60 billion infrastructure fund under the USIDFC,” the statement added.