from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE new United States (US) administration is mending relations with Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and biggest economy.
Relations were strained under the government of Donald Trump, who led America from 2017.
Antony Blinken, Secretary of State in President Joe Biden’s administration, highlighted the importance of the relationship between the two countries during a call to the Nigerian Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama.
Ned Price, the US Department of State spokesperson, said Blinken outlined a holistic approach to the US-Nigeria partnership based on the shared values of democracy, respect for human rights and robust people-to-people relations.
Acknowledging the threats that violent extremists pose to Nigerian and regional security, Blinken welcomed Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent appointment of military service chiefs to bring new approaches to combat terrorism in the northeast.
This is anticipated to provide national security throughout the West African country.
“Secretary Blinken referenced President Biden’s revocation of immigrant visa restrictions on Nigeria as affirmation of the close ties between Americans and Nigerians,” Price said.
Under Trump, Nigerian citizens were restricted from entering the US.
Critics believe Trump has a history of seeking to discriminate against African immigrants.
Blinken meanwhile reiterated US’ support for Nigerian, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, as the new Director General of the World Trade Organisation.
She is the first female and African to hold the position.
– CAJ News