Nigeria, US partnership will continue to produce mutually desirable results ― Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday said that the partnership between Nigeria and the US was one that would continue to produce mutually desirable results for both countries.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, said that the vice president spoke when he received the administrator of the US Agency on International Development (USAID), Mr Mark Green, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to Osinbajo, the US is one of Nigeria’s most dependable development partner.
The vice president said the Nigerian government was grateful for the US interventions in the areas of health, humanitarian issues and education.
He reiterated the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to improve the country’s education sector, and his resolve to enforce free and compulsory basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age.
Osinbajo said that a lot more could be done with cooperation between both countries.
“This is an area where the president particularly has a personal commitment. On June 20, in a meeting with state governors, he made the point that we are going to enforce a nine-year free and compulsory basic education for children.
“He felt that this was not just a moral obligation, but, of course, to educate and develop future generations, especially female children.
“There could be more cooperation in the areas of teachers’ training, skills development, child education, especially girl-child education, among other interventions in the education sector.”
Osinbajo also highlighted the need for more development partnerships in the areas of improving the country’s power sector and security.
He said that the Federal Government had been putting a significant amount of work in developing renewable energy and providing solar power in rural areas and other parts of the country.
“In the power sector, we find that renewable energy is an area we want to do more. And in many parts of the country, we find that solar power would be advantageous for us, and we’re trying to do a lot in that area.
“The power grid itself has had various challenges. We think the fastest growth, especially in rural areas is solar power; in that respect, we have done a fair amount of work,” he said.
While acknowledging US military assistance, Osinbajo said that the Federal Government would also welcome more cooperation in tackling humanitarian challenges in the North-East of the country.
In his remarks, Green who was accompanied by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Stuart Symington, said that US and Nigeria had a deep friendship based on shared values and shared priorities.
He described as admirable, Buhari’s personal commitment to ensuring compulsory free education for Nigerian children.
Green said that the US looked forward to working with the Nigerian government on developing its education sector, tackling security challenges and improving economic indices.
“We have a particular interest in continuing our very strong partnership in providing humanitarian assistance, particularly in areas in the North.
“Working together on economic opportunities, particularly in rural areas; creating strong sustainable futures for farmers and herders; and looking for ways to tackle some of the challenges that we both see in building lives and communities,” he said.
Earlier, the vice president had received a delegation from the Andrew Young Foundation, led by civil rights activist and former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young.
Osinbajo described Young as one of the major icons in the US civil rights movement.
He added that Young had played a very important role in Nigeria and influenced positively many of its leaders.
In his remarks, Young commended the Buhari administration for being able to hold the country together in spite of the differences and ensuring that democracy thrives.
Young, who worked with the late Martin Luther King Jnr., was accompanied by Ambassador Howard Jeter, Nigerian Businessman, Sir Emeka Offor and Sen. Ken Nnamani.