By Monsuru Olowoopejo
United States, US Government has said it is waiting for President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate his cabinet and introduce policies that would drive Nigeria in the next four years.
Meantime, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has commended the efforts of the US government in ensuring peaceful democratic transition in the last general elections in Nigeria.
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle disclosed this when he led some foreign investors on a courtesy visit to the Lagos House, Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja.
During the visit held behind closed-doors, Entwistle noted that the cabinet is needed to be constituted urgently considering the enormous task before the central government and state governments.
His words “What everyone is waiting for at this time is the confirming of the cabinet at the federal level and the new policies that will drive the country.”
“The US government stands with you (Ambode) as you take up these challenges of running the State of Lagos. The relationship between Lagos State and US governments has always been excellent. I can assure you that it will continue.
“We have a new consul-general, who is experienced, has previously served in Abuja. That excellent relationship will continue.
Entwistle described the country’s last general elections as historic, noting that it was a fascinating time “to be in Nigeria. It is a fascinating moment for the US-Nigeria relationship. Of course, I am referring to the historic elections earlier this year.”
He also told Ambode that the US government would like to know his vision for the state, adding “your priority, what you plan to do and what you see as the major challenges. All these will be fascinating us as friends of Lagos and Nigeria.”
Responding, Ambode noted that the US input to peaceful transition went a long way to ensure the polls was successful.
The governor noted the concern of the US government and steps taken to ensure peaceful transition went a long way to ensure successful polls.
He however noted that his commitment would ensure that the rule of law is enshrined into governance in the state.
He also restated his administration’s determination to ensure that the ease of doing business in Lagos is enhanced through enduring security and judicial sector reforms.
He said the establishment of the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment, which would directly be administered by his office, is geared towards making the state more investor-friendly and safer.
“I want to say that the relationship we’ve had with the United States has been longstanding and you’ve always been a friend indeed, we just quickly want to recommit ourselves to that relationship so much that the security of every American that comes into Lagos is of utmost importance to me; you’ll see that in the last four months what we’ve been trying to do is to recommit ourselves to security and judicial sector reforms”.
The Governor who also restated his commitment to ensure that the business environment is conducive for foreign investors saying, “Under my control, the ease of doing business in Lagos is of major concern”.
“Beyond the fact that we want to improve infrastructure to allow Lagos to become globally competitive, we want to make sure that everybody that comes here must be able to work safely, live safely and must be able to do everything they want in a peaceful manner”, he said.
He also welcomed the cooperation of the United States towards ensuring a more secured Lagos as well as deepening the democratic system, saying the country as a whole can learn from the relationship between the executive and the legislative arm of government to deepen its democratic institutions.