Source: The Sun Publishing
As part of the Federal Government’s resolve to curtail Boko Haram terrorism and the security challenges in the country and the West African region, Nigeria has accepted a proposal from the United States to create a new focus on security as a different agenda under the US-Nigeria Bi-National Commission. BNC, initiated just less than two years ago, Empowered Newswire reports
Under the new security focus, top military chiefs from the US would join the resumption of the BNC talks between the US and Nigeria starting next week in Abuja.
This disclosure was made yesterday by the Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Prof Adebowale Adefuye, during a meeting with US business investors and private sector executives under the platform of the influential Corporate Council on Africa, CCA, in Washington DC on recent developments in Nigeria, especially Boko Haram attacks and the fuel subsidy crisis
Said he: “the United States government has proposed that the Niger-Delta and regional security component of the commission be split into separate entities and the first meeting on regional security should hold immediately on 23 and 24 of January. We have agreed to this proposal.”
When Nigeria and the US signed the BNC agreement in April 6 2010, 4 areas of focus were agreed, including governance and transparency, Niger Delta-where security featured partly, energy reforms and agriculture. A 5th dimension now is security.
The Nigerian Ambassador added that, while Nigeria is open to international assistance on the issue of Boko Haram, because of its international dimension and the global condemnation of terrorism, “we are receiving adequate support and assistance from our international friends without compromising our independence and freedom of action.”
He said it was the US government that offered to make the issue of security a distinct focus of the BNC, instead of being just a part of the Niger Delta focus of the commission.
Explaining that with Nigeria’s consent on that US government proposal, top military chiefs from the US would be joining in a BNC meeting next week in Abuja, which would be the commission’s first meeting on regional security, adding: “I will be traveling to Nigeria tomorrow to take part in the first annual review of the US-Nigeria Bi-National Commission.”
Last week, Adefuye met with the staff of the US State Department Bureau on African Affairs to explain the fuel subsidy crisis, and the Boko Haram attacks, reviewing Federal Government’s response. Similarly last week, the Ambassador also met with the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC on the same subject, as Nigeria made global news, raising concerns and questions on the state of the nation because of the fuel crisis and Boko Haram.
His meeting yesterday with US business leaders and investors who have interests in Nigeria was also called to reassure the American private sector that Nigeria is safe for investors.