*As Obama sends American investors to Nigeria
*Buhari lauds US for support on insecurity
By Levi Nwabughiogu & Vera Samuel Anyagafu
ABUJA — The United States, US, government, yesterday, listed Nigeria as one of the top 10 global economies by 2050, citing the economic potentialities of countries across Africa.
This came as President Barak Obama dispatched a team of US officials to study Nigeria’s business climate, with the aim of investing in the country, even as President Muhammadu Buhari expressed gratitude to the US President and his government for assisting Nigeria in its anti-terrorism war.
US Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, who disclosed this at a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja, said this explained why her government was deepening economic and commercial engagement with African countries.
According to her, Nigeria is at the top of the list, considering the fact that Nigeria’s middle class of roughly 50 million people is expected to help grow the country into one of the top 10 global economies by the year 2050.
Pritzker, who is currently in Nigeria on a fact-finding mission with senior US business executives, including the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, (PAC-DBIA), is optimistic that relationship between the US and African countries would lead to a prosperous partnership.
She also disclosed that the visit to Nigeria provided an opportunity for the PAC-DBIA members to gather facts about the commercial opportunities and challenges in both Nigeria and Rwanda, and then report back to the President with strong and actionable recommendations that would take the relationship to the next level.
Pritzker said: “President Obama and I are convinced that the American private sector, working in partnership with the African business community, can help address some of the continent’s most pressing challenges, including building modern infrastructure, creating jobs and opportunity for young people, and expanding access to education and the Internet.
“When we think about the economic potential of countries across Africa, Nigeria is absolutely at the top of that list.
“The imperative that we all face is to promote economic growth and opportunity at home, and deepening our mutually beneficial ties of trade and commerce is not just a nice to have, it is a must-have for all of us.”
Pritzker told President Buhari that she was in Nigeria with 10 leading American business men and women at the prompting of President Obama.
She said: “The purpose is to better understand the opportunities and challenges of doing business in Nigeria. Our team is very optimistic about your government’s commitment to security, good governance, fighting corruption, having reliable and regular regulatory policies.
“All these make us optimistic about working together. We are not here to sell policies, but to partner with you.”
The secretary’s trip to Nigeria and Rwanda underscores Obama administration’s commitment to shifting the US economic relationship with Africa from one based on aid to trade and investment.
Buhari lauds US for support on insecurity
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday expressed gratitude to President Obama and his government for assisting Nigeria in its ant-terrorism war.
Speaking on the visit by the delegation led by the United States Secretary of Commerce, Ms Penny Pritzker, at the Presidential Villa, Buhari applauded ongoing American collaboration with his administration on security and developmental issues.
He also stated that his administration would continue to welcome the support and understanding of the United States as it strove to achieve greater internal security and socio-economic progress in Nigeria.