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Thursday, September 21, 2023

US VP Kamala Harris Speaks With Tinubu, Assures US Support On Economy

United States Vice-President, Kamala Harris, has commended President Bola Tinubu’s economic policies.

Harris spoke with Tinubu in a phone call on Thursday.

Recall that in his inaugural speech, Tinubu announced the removal of petrol subsidy and the unification of foreign exchange rates.

Harris expressed support for the president’s decisions, saying it was a step in reforming the economy.

“Today, I spoke with President Tinubu of Nigeria about the strong ties between the Nigerian and American people and our shared work on global and regional issues — from defending democracy in West Africa and the Sahel to promoting digital inclusion and economic growth,” Harris wrote on Twitter.

The US vice president also assured Tinubu of her country’s support in increasing private sector investment, digital inclusion, women’s empowerment, and expanding access to clean energy.

Harris also underscored the US government’s long-standing support for Nigeria’s democracy and good governance, including governments’ responsibility to ensure that security services act to serve the people they are mandated to protect.

She condemned the coup in Niger, adding that the US continued engagement with the unstable West African country is dependent on its commitment to democratic standards.

Tinubu, who is also the chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), frowned at the development in Niger, vowing that the union would do everything possible to ensure peace returns to the region.

Shortly after, ECOWAS deployed President Patrice Talon of Benin to Niger to assess the situation.

In a statement, Dele Alake, special adviser on special duties, communication & strategy to the president, said Tinubu told Harris that Nigeria craves more private sector investment, urging the US to lead the way in this regard.

“We had to get rid of the fuel subsidy that is laden with fraud with a few people appropriating the wealth of the country to themselves,” Tinubu said.

“We would need the US to help push for investments that will help alleviate the effects of subsidy removal in Nigeria. We need foreign direct investment to come in.

“We have abundant gas resources in the country and not been able to fund gas pipelines to Europe and compete in that gas market is handicap,” he said.

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