The United States has acknowledged Nigeria’s challenges and told President Muhammadu Buhari administration that building Nigeria would not be “an overnight operation.”
The US Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, who stated this on Wednesday at the US-Nigeria Binational Commission’s meeting in Washington, said America wanted Nigeria to succeed.
He stated, “You know there are challenges. That’s what your election was about. And so we are all aware that the world right now is facing many different challenges in terms of governance in various parts of the world and for various reasons: absence of capital, absence of structure, having to build capacity.
“These things take time. Nobody is pretending that it’s an overnight operation. It wasn’t for us. And some people sometimes are very revisionist in America about our own history, but we’ve gone through some very difficult periods and very difficult issues.”
Kerry recalled that America took slavery out of its constitution after it had been written in, adding that it was no small task.
He stated, “We’ve been through a history. And what we’re trying to do is, really, share with people the shortcut, if you will – how you can manage to avoid some of the mistakes that we’ve made in the course of our own development in ways that can embrace the hopes and the aspirations of millions upon millions of people. That’s what this is about.”
He added that Nigeria was finding very vibrant expression in every branch of the arts. He said that like the United States, Nigeria “is a diverse country with a very large and assertive civil society.”
Kerry said, “The United States, let me be clear, is very encouraged by President Buhari’s commitment to an economy that is more diversified, less dependent on a single commodity for export earnings, and that means we need to develop sustainability.
“Sustainable growth depends on a climate that is welcoming to investment and respectful of the environment and of workers’ rights. And we have learned in these last 25, 30 years that it is never a competition between the environment and development.
“That is a false choice – completely false, and particularly in the context of today’s challenge of climate change. You can develop in ways that protect the environment and also are competitive and provide jobs for people.”
According to him, Nigeria’s future is in Nigerians’ hands. He said the United States would help Nigeria.
“Our development assistance this year will top $600m, and we are working closely with your leaders – the leaders of your health ministry – to halt the misery that is spread by HIV/AIDS, by malaria, and by TB,” he added.