As part of his official visit to the United States of America, Vice-president Namadi Sambo was in the White House where he discussed security issues and counterterrorism with his counterpart in the United States, Mr. Joe Biden.
During the meeting which lasted for about 45 minutes, Vice-presidents Sambo and Biden also discussed opportunities to deepen cooperation on issues of mutual interest such as advancing trade and investment, promoting peace and security in West Africa.
The United States vice president, who offered his condolences and those of the American people to Sambo for the lives lost in the Boko Haram attacks on Easter weekend in Kaduna and Kano, also reiterated the strong support of the government of his country for Nigeria and its efforts to improve socioeconomic and security conditions across the country, including in the north.
He also made it known that no amount of security threats could ruin the good relationship that the government of the United States is having with the government of Nigeria.
In his response, Vice-president Sambo reaffirmed the Nigerian government's commitment to expanding services and access to electricity, enhancing infrastructure to aid development and improving the quality of life for all of Nigeria's citizens.
Sambo also assured Mr. Biden that the federal government has been doing everything to provide adequate security for the people of the country and foreigners who may want to invest in Nigeria.
Nigeria to drive economic growth with agriculture
Meanwhile Sambo has said that the Federal Government of Nigeria would make agriculture the major driver of the country's economic growth and development.
Addressing foreign investors in the agricultur sector at the Agriculture Investment Forum organised by the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the Corporate Council on Africa, Sambo stressed that the transformation agenda of the current administration has agriculture as one of the major drivers of the economy.
"Based on our common understanding of the importance of agriculture, it's not just in terms of food security and thereby contributing to poverty alleviation, but also its abundant potential for employment generation," he said.
Noting that much effort would be concentrated towards large-scale production of such staples as rice, cassava, sorghum, including opportunities in livestock, fisheries, maize, soya beans, palm oil, cocoa and cotton, Vice-president Sambo said, "The current focus on agriculture is to improve the value chain, moving away from production of raw materials for export to agro-processing into semi-finished product, especially in food production."
Urging American investors as well as Nigerians in the Diaspora to take advantage of the abundant opportunities for investment in the above areas of the country's agribusiness, Sambo noted that government has undertaken a number of reforms to make Nigeria investor-friendly.
He said: "Both the federal and state governments have taken further steps to entrench the enabling environment for foreign direct investment as the federal government has committed a lot of resources towards the provision of infrastructural facilities that will address the main factors militating against investment generation."
He added that much attention was being committed to addressing the transport sector by constructing roads and rehabilitating the abandoned 4,000Km railway and constructing new lines, stressing that the administration was building new thermal plants for the power sector and had created new inland water ways by the dredging of River Niger and the consultancy service for River Benue had been awarded.
On the security challenges that Nigeria faces, Sambo assured the investors that government was addressing the challenges through various efforts, including strengthening the capacity of the security agencies as well as collaboration with the regional and international community.
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