United States Vice President Joe Biden met with Vice President Namadi Sambo at the White House on Tuesday, where he praised Nigeria's leadership role in West Africa in particular and Africa as a whole.
Sources at the closed-door meeting, the first between both leaders, said Biden specifically noted Nigeria's role in the resolution of the Ivorian election crisis and the recent political crisis in Mali.
The meeting billed to last for 45 minutes, lasted well over one hour as both leaders discussed how to further strengthen partnership between both countries.
Describing Nigeria as US most strategic partner in Africa, Biden, at the meeting which focused on how to further deepen co-operations between both countries through the Nigeria-US Binational Commission (BNC), emphasised the need for a sustained high-level engagement.
Biden also pledged US continued support for Nigeria in its efforts to tackle the various challenges facing the country.
Vice President Sambo, in his remarks, noted the successes of the BNC within a short period and also used the opportunity to thank the US for the support given to Nigeria in tackling the nation's internal security challenges.
Sambo, while noting the steady progress being made in achieving the objectives of the four focal points of the BNC, sought US support for ECOWAS in its efforts toward addressing regional security citing the situation in Mali.
Like his US counterpart, Sambo harped on the need for both countries to sustain high-level engagements through the BNC.
THISDAY gathered that a meeting of the BNC had been slated for May in Nigeria and it would focus on the Good Governance, Transparency, and Integrity component of the agreement, while Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde is presently US to meet with officials of the State Department ahead of next month BNC meeting.
Tuesday's meeting, which was the first between the two Vice Presidents, was attended by Nigeria's Foreign Affairs Minister, Amb. Olusegun Ashiru, Nigerian Ambassador to US, Prof. Adebowale Adefuye, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, and US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terence McCulley.
Sambo, who arrived US on Monday night - his first official visit to US - was received at the Andrews Airforce Base by Ambassador Adefuye and other top officials of the Nigerian embassy.
The Vice President will be attending the US Ex-Im Bank annual conference on Thursday where two concurrent breakout sessions had been slated to discuss Nigeria's power sector and accelerating economic growth through agriculture.
At the conference where former President Bill Clinton will be delivering the keynote address, four Nigerian officials - Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, and Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi - will serve as panellists.
On Friday, Vice President Sambo will hold a town hall meeting at 4pm with Nigerians in the Diaspora at the Nigerian embassy in Washington.
Copyright © 2012 This Day. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.