By Shola Abayomi.
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and Mike Pence, his US counterpart, leveraged on the bilateral relationship existing between Nigeria and the United States of America, as both leaders met at the White House to deliberate on germane issues of mutual interest.
Both leaders conversed extensively on economy, military aid, observation of the rule of law, etc.
The Nigerian Vice President, reiterated that “The US is a natural Ally of Nigeria, as Nigeria and US have many things in common.” He further added that Nigeria offers advantageous benefits to US investors, being the largest economy in Africa.
Responding, the US VP said, “Nigeria is a great country with a population of 200 million people, that’s a great nation. We want to see Nigeria prospering more.” He also urged the country to initiate more market reforms in the economy, while encouraging an independent judiciary alongside, as the rule of law was sacrosanct in sustaining Nigeria’s future.
Osinbajo highlighted Nigeria’s effort in economic diversification, explaining the country’s progress in deepening the manufacturing industry and ongoing reforms in the power sector to attract more investors.
Prof. Osinbajo commended the US government under President Donald Trump for its support on the purchase order for the Tucano aircrafts, emphasizing on its usefulness in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.
The Nigerian VP also assured of government’s continued commitment in securing the release of Leah Sharibu and the remaining abducted Chibok girls.
He revealed that over 100 of the Chibok girls that were abducted even before President Muhammadu Buhari came into government, have been released under the Buhari administration, adding that most of the Chibok girls, 90% of them, were Christians.
Mr Pence lauded the efforts of the Nigerian government and offered US’ support in ensuring the release of the other abducted girls.
He also told his Nigerian counterpart “I am grateful that you reached out, the door is open for more dialogue.”