US-Nigeria Bilateral Trade Hits $36billion, Jonathan Wants More
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan said late Wednesday in Washington DC that the volume of trade between Nigeria and the United States, which has risen to a record level of $36 Billion per annum, will continue to grow with greater cooperation between Nigeria and its allies in the United States Government and private sector.
Speaking at a dinner held in his honour by the United States Chambers of Commerce and the Corporate Council on Africa, President Jonathan said that his administration welcomed the support of the Obama Administration and both organisations for ongoing efforts to positively transform the Nigerian economy and ensure that it becomes one of the twenty largest economies in the world by the year 2020.
Calling for even greater direct investment in Nigeria from the United States, President Jonathan declared that recent developments had shown that President Barack Obama was right when he spoke, in September last year, of increasing international recognition of Nigeria’s role in the global economy.
“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 United States in Africa. 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 the form of Foreign Direct Investments, as well as private and public investments targeted at projects that would foster the agriculture sector, improve infrastructure such as roads, railways, hospitals, education, skill development and ICT across African countries.
“We remain the largest source of natural gas and have large areas of unexploited fertile lands for agriculture. We have a huge stock of untapped solid minerals and we 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,” President Jonathan told the gathering.
The President also told his audience at the dinner that while the oil and gas industry remains Nigeria’s main source of revenue and foreign exchange earner, his administration was working very hard to fully diversify the country’s economy and will welcome greater support from the United States for its efforts to make other sectors of the Nigerian economy more productive.
He 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. President Jonathan left Washington DC to return home after the dinner and talks earlier yesterday with President Barack Obama and other African Heads of State and Government at the first United States-African Leaders Summit.