President Bola Tinubu has tasked the U.S. to collaborate with African countries in defending its democracies against anti-democratic forces within and outside the continent to improve its people’s living standards.
In a statement, Ajuri Ngelale, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, disclosed that Mr Tinubu said this when he received the U.S. presidential envoy and assistant secretary for African affairs, Molly Phee, in Abuja on Saturday.
Mr Tinubu said the crisis in the Niger Republic would not deter him from concluding his economic reform programme for the benefit of Nigerians, adding that he would only advance the interest of Nigerians in his approach toward ECOWAS’ handling of the regional standoff.
“We are deep in our attempts to peacefully settle the issue in Niger by leveraging our diplomatic tools. I continue to hold ECOWAS back, despite its readiness for all options, in order to exhaust all other remedial mechanisms,” Mr Tinubu, the ECOWAS chairman, said.
‘’War is not ideal for my economic reforms, nor the region, but the defence of democracy is sacrosanct. The ECOWAS consensus is that we will not allow anyone to insincerely buy time,” he added.
He said the American-backed development finance and multilateral institutions required comprehensive reforms to meet the developmental requirements of young democracies in Africa, which operate in authoritarian-crowded environments.
The president said this must be done with vigour, as the institutions designed policies to support war-torn Europe after World War II, adding that this would meet the legitimate yearnings of Africans to use local solutions for its challenges.
“Yes, the private sector will lead the way within an enabling environment we create for them, but the U.S. government must be innovative in its thinking and systematically create incentives for U.S. industrial investment in Nigeria.
‘’Under my leadership, Nigeria stands ready to address its specific regulatory, tax, and environmental concerns. I am determined to create prosperity for all Nigerian families,” the president said.
Pledging support for the position of ECOWAS, the U.S. special presidential envoy expressed the high regard the U.S. Administration has for the leadership of Mr Tinubu as the chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.
She extended an exclusive invitation from U.S. President Joe Biden to meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City to advance discussions further in late September.
“We know there is more we can do to incentivise large-scale American investment in Nigeria, and we are committed to working closely with you to achieve that as part of efforts to strengthen the Nigerian and the regional economy.
‘’We appreciate your willingness to create an enabling environment for that. President Joe Biden is asking to meet with you on the sidelines of UNGA, and you are the only African leader he has requested to meet. It is a mark of his high regard for your leadership,” she said.