The United States deputy treasury secretary, Adewale Adeyemo, has dismissed speculations that he is in Nigeria to counter the influence of China on the Nigerian government.
Adeyemo said his trip to the country was based on creating opportunities for Nigeria’s booming population and strengthening the relationship between the US government and that of the West African country.
“Our government is here, not because we are looking to counter another government, but because we know the economic future of Africa is critical important to us, and especially Nigeria, as Africa’s largest country,” he said in an interview with AriseTV.
The deputy secretary also said: “Our role is to make sure Nigeria, which is now a country of 200 million and will be a country of 400 million by 2050, has not only the potential – which you see in leaps and bounds in the street of Lagos and all over the country, – but also has opportunity.
“And we think that opportunity can be created by your government and your people working closely with partners like the United States.”
He said the US and Nigeria already have a tight relationship through their citizens, stating that 500,000 Nigerian-Americans reside in the United States, while thousands of Americans are based in the African country.
To further buttress his point, Adeyemo said beyond government-to-government relationships, citizens of both countries are also trading – adding that US-owned companies are investing in Nigeria,
“So, even before it gets to government-to-government relationships, we have dip connections between Africa and Nigeria, people-to-people and businesses,” Adeyemo stated.
Meanwhile, the US has in the past expressed concern about the relationship between Nigeria and China, with the US Department of State saying the Asian country was capable of influencing the Nigerian government through loan provision.
The concern was raised in a report titled; ‘Integrated Country Strategies,’ which was released in April 2022, but reviewed in July 2023.
The US said: “China offers sub-prime financing for a range of infrastructure projects, with the potential to add unnecessarily to Nigeria’s debt burden and increase Chinese influence over the Nigerian government.”
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