At Bilateral Meeting, Blinken Lauds Tinubu’s Bold Reforms 

.Says US entrepreneurs itching to invest in Nigeria 

.Canvasses ease in capital repatriation 

Deji Elumoye in Abuja 

President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday held a bilateral talk  in Abuja with the visiting United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, who lauded bold economic reforms embarked upon by the President since he assumed office on May 29, 2023.

Addressing newsmen in company of Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Yusuf Tuggar after the bilateral meeting with President Tinubu, the US Secretary of  State while welcoming the President’s “bold reforms to unify the currency and end fuel subsidy”  stressed the need to remove impediment to capital repatriation. 

He said: “Nigeria offers real opportunities for investors at the same time I think it’s no secret that there remains long term challenges that need to be removed to he able to really unlock the full potential, making it easier for foreign companies to repatriate capital.

“There remains some impediments that we hear from our own business

community that I think stand in the way of maximizing those opportunities. 

“One is the repatriation of capital. I know that the Central Bank governor is working on that. And second is the ongoing effort to combat corruption because companies that come in and invest want to make sure that they’re going to be investing with a fair level

playing field and corruption, of course, is a big impediment event.”

Blinken, who arrived Nigeria as part of his four-nation African tour, stressed his country’s commitment to strengthen genuine partner with countries in Africa to solve shared challenges. 

He informed that the bilateral meeting with President Tinubu dwelt on a range of common priorities, including his country’s focus on accelerating economic growth and opportunity in Nigeria.

According to him,  “This is a place of extraordinary innovation, extraordinary dynamism. I’ve had the opportunity to visit many times over over the years. I’ve seen that each and every time and I expect to see more of that latest tomorrow. 

“American entrepreneurs, American companies are eager to partner with and invest in Nigeria’s economy, particularly in the tech sector. 

“We have tech giants that are teamed up with Nigerian partners to help me president’s news one million digital Jobs Initiative other companies are part of work laying undersea cables, using satellite technology to expand access to the internet. Our tech incubators are fostering Nigeria’s next startups. 

“Our venture capital companies are working to finance so we want to work in partnership to help drive Nigeria’s technological revolution, which is creating jobs. It’s growing businesses, and it’s growing innovations in both of our countries. 

“Because one of the things we’ve learned from these partnerships is that it benefits us as much as any place or any company that we’re investing. We’re learning a lot from we’re getting a lot. And one of the initiatives that President Biden laid out the digital transformation with Africa Initiative, we see it as particularly energized and triggered focus for us. 

“Now, Nigeria offers real, clear, compelling opportunities for investors. At the same time. I think it’s no secret that there remains some long term challenges that need to be overcome, to really unlock the full potential, tackling corruption, making it easier for foreign companies. to repatriate capital, these will all pull in a transformative direction and pull in transformative direct investment.”

Noting the cooperation between the US and Nigeria, Blinken said: “Nigeria, as Africa’s largest country, largest economy, largest democracy is essential to that effort. And we are doing a lot of work together already. 

To drive a positive direction. We’re driving climate action. 

“As partners in the global nothing coalition we’re pushing for permanent representation crafting voices, the UN Security Council in other international organizations that need to reflect the realities of today, not just the day that they were created, many many years ago. 

“We’re working in collaboration to support the development and use of artificial intelligence for good with 30 other Atlantic countries. We’re driving blue economic development, environmental protection, science and technology exchange, through a new partnership for learning cooperation.”

In his remarks, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Yusuf Tuggar, said the bilateral  talk also discussed issues such as food security, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and security in the subregion, noting that the discussions were fruitful. 

Blinken was received at the forecourt ofPresident Tinubu’s office at about 6.55pm on Tuesday.

Top government officials on hand to receive him were Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar; Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris and Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake.

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