Blinken and Buhari
Blinken and Buhari

U.S. signs $2.1 billion development assistance agreement with Nigeria

NEWS DIGEST – The United States has signed a $2.1 billion development assistance agreement with Nigeria to help the West African country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic by fostering inclusive, sustainable economic growth.

The agreement was signed during the visit to Nigeria by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Addressing the press, Mr Blinken said the agreement is a “significant investment in improving access to quality education, public health, and other services and tools that Nigeria’s rising generations are looking for and need to thrive here at home and in a global economy.”

He added that the U.S. is working with Nigeria to address security challenges, including those posed by Boko Haram, ISIS West Africa, and other terrorist and extremist groups.

“In meetings with the president, with the vice president, with the foreign minister, we discussed the importance of a comprehensive approach that builds effective security forces, addresses the underlying drivers of extremism, and respects Nigerians’ basic human rights.”

Mr Blinken noted that the U.S. will continue to invest in the security partnership and institutions that strengthen the rule of law and hold accountable those who commit human rights abuses, corruption, and other acts that harm the Nigerian people.

“Nigeria touches us every day in America through the amazing power of its diaspora,” he said.

Mr Blinken noted that Nigeria has received 7.6 million doses of vaccines from the U.S.

“We expect to send another significant number of doses by the end of the year, donated with no strings attached,” he added.

The U.S is also providing treatment to more than 1.5 million people in Nigeria living with HIV/AIDS, and by 2023, Nigeria will be on track for epidemic control.

Mr Blinken said the USAID five-year, $110 million project, the Nigeria Power Sector programme, will provide 250 thousand jobs in the energy industry and generate $18.5 million in annual tax revenues.

The Nigeria power sector programme is supporting key initiatives like the Solar Power Naija, which is expected to bring solar energy to 25 million Nigerians who are off the electric grid and lack access to power.