US backs Buhari on economic diversification, pledges to increase FDI in Nigeria

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It was gathered that he United States on Tuesday said that President Muhammadu Buhari Administration’s efforts in diversifying Nigeria’s economy into non-oil export would make the nation’s export more attractive to America and the rest of world.

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Peter Barlerin, Deputy Assistant Secretary, West Africa and Economic and Regional Affairs, disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja.

He said the US was considering increasing Direct Investment in Nigeria.

Berlerin said that the commencement of Shale oil and gas production in the US, in the last 10 years, had changed American’s economy and no longer a major importer of oil especially from Nigeria.

Barlerin said: “It (the revolution) impacted on the oil export from Nigeria, I think this gives an opportunity to Nigeria to diversify the economic and deep our economic relationship in other ways.”

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Barlerin who noted that the decline in the oil price had significant impact on Nigeria’s economy, just like any other countries, commended Buhari’s efforts in trying to improve the economic conditions.

He said: “We believe that such efforts would be helpful for the economy because it will make Nigeria export more attractive to the region, the U.S. and the rest of world.

“It will help Nigerian economy as it would no longer depend on oil as it did in the past.

“A number of sectors in Nigeria are promising; there are lots of promising exports potentials in services industry, in fashion industry, agriculture and other sectors.”

The envoy said that U.S. would try to increase two ways trade and investments with Nigeria to deep the trade relations between the two countries.

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Barlerin also said: “So if we have a high level of trade here, we want to increase both U.S. export to Nigeria and U.S. import from Nigeria, so that we can have two ways trade. Also we think that increasing U.S. direct investment into Nigeria is very important.

“I think the Buhari’s Administration’s efforts to improve easy doing business in Nigeria is very important.

“And we think that openness to US investors into country’s economy will be very important for Nigeria’s economic growth.”

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According to Barlerin, Nigeria is one of the most important countries for the U.S. in sub-Saharan Africa, and it has the largest population on the continent and the second largest economy.

He said the US and Nigeria had good relationship which would be made stronger and vibrant.

He said: “In terms of overall US Africa policy, President Obama strategies have been to increase peace security in sub-Sahara Africa.

“It is to improve the economic growth, trade and investment also to improve democracy governance and human rights and finally to increase opportunity and development in the continent.”

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