President Goodluck Jonathan says the volume of trade between Nigeria and the United States will continue to grow with greater cooperation between the public and private sectors of both countries.
This is contained in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati.
It quoted Jonathan as saying this at a dinner held in his honour by the U.S. Chambers of Commerce (UCC) and the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) in Washington DC.
According to the statement, the trade volume between both countries has risen to a record level of $36 billion per annum.
The president welcomed the support of the Obama administration and both organisations for ongoing efforts to positively transform the Nigerian economy and make it one of the world’s 20 largest by 2020.
Jonathan said in the statement that the recent developments had shown that Obama was right when he spoke in September 2013 of increasing international recognition of Nigeria’s role in the global economy.
He, therefore, called for greater direct investment in Nigeria from the U.S.
“Our economy has since been re-based and it is now the largest in Africa. We are the 26th largest economy in the world and the largest trading partner of the U.S. in Africa.
“The latest figures show the volume of trade between Nigeria and the U.S. 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 form of foreign direct investments as well as private and public investments,’’ the statement said.
The statement said all African countries were targeting projects that would foster the agriculture sector, improve infrastructure such as roads, railways, hospitals, education, skill development and ICT in the continent.
Jonathan, according to the statement, said that Nigeria remained the largest source of natural gas with large areas of unexploited fertile lands for agriculture.
According to the statement, Nigeria has a huge stock of untapped solid minerals.
“We will 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.
“The oil and gas industry remains Nigeria’s main source of revenue and foreign exchange earner, but we are working very hard to fully diversify the country’s economy.
“We will welcome greater support from the United States for its efforts to make other sectors of the Nigerian economy more productive,’’ the statement quoted Jonathan as saying.
Jonathan 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.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday, in Washington DC made a case for more effective international sanctions against terrorist groups such as the dreaded Boko Haram sect.
He also sought similar fate for countries, organisations and individuals that sponsor terrorism in any part of the world.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the president made the call in his statement presented at the US-African Leaders Summit.
Jonathan was quoted as calling for more effective global action and implementation of all existing international protocols against terrorism and violent extremism.
He observed that some of the security problems being faced by Nigeria and other African countries were transnational in scope and could not be resolved by any country acting alone.
He said terrorism, piracy and transnational organised crimes had become global in scope, and so, greater regional and international collaboration was required to combat them.
He said, “several African countries, including Nigeria, are now challenged by terrorism and violent extremism. For several countries in the continent, terrorism has become a real threat to social progress, peace and security.
“The violent and criminal activities of Boko Haram in my country have captured the world’s attention. This has been especially so since the terrorist group abducted some girls from their school dormitory in the North-Eastern Nigeria in April.
“Nigeria may be the epicentre of Boko Haram terrorist activities at the moment, but its affiliation with international terrorist networks, dramatically increases its capacity and reach beyond Nigeria’s borders.
“Nigeria is doing everything possible to combat Boko Haram and violent extremism. While we continue to enhance our intelligence and military capacities, we are at the same time, working on political and socio-economic solutions. We are also building partnerships, both at the regional and international levels to combat the threat posed by terrorism in our sub-region.
“In this enterprise, we are pleased to acknowledge the supportive role of the United States. The assistance that we continue to receive from the United States and our other international partners is proof indeed that partnership can multiply our strengths in addressing common challenges.
“We call for an effective international sanctions regime that would hold accountable any country, institutions and individual that finances terrorism in any part of the world. This inaugural Africa-US Summit must also call for effective action and implementation of all existing international protocols on this critical issue.
“Because terrorism, piracy and transnational organised crimes are global in scope, greater regional and international collaboration is required to combat them. We must act in concert.”
According to the statement, the president had conveyed the same message at a bilateral meeting with Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday.
He was quoted as saying at the meeting that Nigeria, the US and the global community must work with greater synergy and unity of purpose to overcome Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.
LG Boss Uncovers Bloodstained Army Uniform At ‘Cocaine Village’
The newly inaugurated Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area, Obarilormate Ollor, has gone to ‘Cocaine village’ at Eleme Trailer Park to execute Governor Nyesom Wike’s quit order on residents of the illegal settlement when he made a shock discovery in one of the rooms.
Ollor had visited the area notorious for drugs and crimes, last Sunday, along with some security personnel to serve the quit notice on residents but met the area deserted—an indication that someone had alerted them about the visit.
Out of curiosity, the chairman opened one of the rooms in the ghetto-like settlement, and found the bloodstained uniform of a soldier, his knife and ATM card.
The chairman and his entourage had expressed suspicion that criminals in the area had killed the owner of the uniform and robbed him.
Ollor said, “Remember that a week ago, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, gave a directive that all illegal structures be removed. As the chief security officer of the local government, I am under that obligation.
“What we are doing here today is to inform them in advance and to remind them that the ultimatum still holds. So, on or before June 26, they should move out.
“What we have here is a mixed population of criminals, armed robbers, drug dealers, and even those who allegedly trade in human parts. Right now, we just found the uniform of an Army man who probably may have been killed. His blood all over the room and uniform, his knife and ATM card, which we have given to the police.”
The Rivers State Police Command has reportedly swung into action to unravel the perpetrators of the alleged crime.
Spokesman of the police, SP Nnamdi Omoni, said that the command had received reports about criminal activities in the area, including the alleged killing of a soldier.
Omoni said, “We have gotten complaints and reports of drug traffickers, criminal elements, human organ dealers, kidnappers and more from there.
“Though we have been carrying out investigation into all of the reports but thank God, we now have a good lead and evidence.
“We have been mandated by the state government to carry out massive arrest within the environs to ensure we arrest and prosecute all those persons involved.”
Residents said that the ‘Cocaine village’ is a haven for drug dealers and users, adding that security operatives also patronize the area.
An aide of the Eleme LG chairman, who spoke off-the-record said, “The governor received an intelligence report that the slum harbours criminals and drug addicts who carry out series of crimes, human organ trafficking, abductions and many other criminal acts in the LGA and state at large.
“We learnt also that some security men troop in there off and on to buy drugs and indulge in one crime or the other.
“The military uniform stained with blood, knife and motorcycle discovered were found in one of the rooms we opened.
“The badge of the military uniform was removed and there were heavy blood stains on the uniform.
“We went there with some police men as assigned to us by the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Eboka Friday”, he added.
Insecurity Hasn’t Hindered Projects’ Execution In Rivers, Wike Affirms
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says that his administration has fearlessly tackled insecurity headlong and created an enabling climate for smooth delivery of quality development projects.
Wike made the assertion at the inauguration of 16.2-kilometre long Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi Road project in Omuma Local Government Area of the state, yesterday.
The governor noted that while other states of the country were still struggling with issues of insecurity, Rivers State was witnessing harvest of development projects with the non-stop inauguration and flag-off ceremonies to their amazement.
“Don’t fight anybody that God has blessed. Don’t fight the state that God has blessed. People are talking about insecurity. We are talking about commissioning and flagging-off of projects. Is it easy? If it is easy, let them try it.”
Wike asserted that it is only states controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) like Rivers that has created a peaceful climate for the citizens while the government delivers democratic dividends.
“Those who say they don’t like what PDP is doing, they have no choice but to like it. You can see what the party (PDP) is doing. We are flagging-off and commissioning projects. Whether they like it or not, we are in charge.”
The governor said it is obvious that Rivers State is no longer on the same level with states that cannot provide dividend of democracy to their people.
Wike said the performance of his administration has restored confidence in Rivers people and they can walk with their heads raised high.
“Rivers people, are you not proud of your state? If you’re a Rivers man, anywhere you go, raise your shoulder high and say that you’re a Rivers man and woman. “They (other parties) can only jealous us, but they cannot do anything. We are of different class. We are not on the same level with them.”
Speaking further, Wike commended the member representing Omuma State Constituency, Hon. KelechiNwogufor his loyalty to PDP.
He also extolled him for his commitment to the welfare of Omuma people and being a trusted ally to him.
At the behest of Nwogu, Wike promised Omuma people that his administration would reconstruct the Umuakali-Eberi Road in appreciation of their support to the PDP.
Inaugurating the project, former President of the Senate, Senator Adolphus Wabara, noted how Wike has redefined governance and broken the jinx of non-performance associated with second tenure governors.
According to him, the approach to development that the governor has adopted stands him out as a much sought-after leader who should be consulted in solving critical national issues related to governance.
“With my experience in elective politics, second terms of most governors are dull; some governors will just go to sleep because they don’t have anything to offer. But you are still commissioning projects, as if you’re not even going to leave.
“Your developmental approach, your developmental plans, and formula should make you an international consultant to the failing government. Because, quite frankly, the magic, I mean, nobody knows except you. You do it with ease, you do it with happiness.”
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, EllokaTasie-Amadi said the Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi link road in Omuma Local Government Area was another genuine efforts of the Wike administration to ease the transportation difficulties experienced by rural dwellers in the Omuma.
“Many of these rural projects go unsung probably because the residents are not social media savvy, as in the case of Omuma, who are predominantly farmers, or probably because SM activities are not a part of their past times as it is with city dwellers.
“It may shock you to know that for every kilometre of road we have built in the city we have built 12kms or more in the rural areas. This is a conservative estimate I would like you to ponder upon when you get home.”
He further stated, “This project is a 16.2km long, 10.3m wide road project which has 4.3km of drains. The roads are marked and have a total of 27 road signs to aid driving and enhance public safety.”
Wike Flags Off Abonnema/ Obonoma Sandfilling Project, Today
All is now set for the flag-off of the Abonnema/Obonoma Sandfilling project in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, said that, “the project will sandfill 42 hectares of land that will help expand Abonnema and Obonoma Towns.
“It is in fulfilment of the promise made by Governor Nyesom Wike during the commissioning of the Abonnema Ring Road”.
The statement further added that, “The rich culture and tradition of the Kalabaris will be fully on display at the event.
“Please, note that all Covid-19 protocols will be observed at the event”, it stressed.
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