U.S. initiatives spearhead progress
Howard Franklin Jeter
U.s. Ambassador to Nigeria
Since democratic government came to power in Nigeria, politicians and business leaders have been working hard to ensure that their country is not left out of the global economy. Howard Jeter, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, has been keeping a close watch on the countrys progress.
Nigeria has made efforts to improve its investment climate, including improvements in infrastructure, to attract and sustain economic development, and the establishment of capital and financial markets, he says. The advent of democratic rule has presented the Nigerians with a genuine opportunity to better the conditions of the average citizen.
A career diplomat with many years experience in Africa, Mr. Jeter acknowledges that the challenges are enormous. Nigeria is a land of significant, yet largely untapped potential. It has taken steps in the right direction, but after years of debilitating military rule, theres a lot of work to do. More needs to be done to attract foreign investment in the non-oil sector.
The Ambassador points out that Nigeria is already Americas largest trading partner on the African continent. About 8% of Americas oil comes from Nigeria, making it the fifth largest supplier to America.
We have our largest and most diverse bilateral assistance program in sub-Saharan Africa with Nigeria, he adds. The recent growth of commerce and telecommunication it has doubled its telephone capacity in six months offer additional opportunities for U.S. products and services.
The U.S. is spearheading many initiatives in Nigeria, a country Mr. Jeter describes as Africas essential nation. The U.S. recognizes the important role that Nigeria can play in Africa, both as a stabilizing influence in the region, and as a model for growth.
The Ambassador says the countrys mineral resources, agriculture, and manufactured products, are all promising sectors for U.S. investment. But Nigeria must make use of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and move quickly to establish and nurture trading contacts with U.S. markets.
Nigeria has made headway; the governments commitment to privatization has been impressive, and has opened the door to foreign and domestic investors alike, adds Mr. Jeter. Were hopeful that Nigeria will continue to take the steps needed to attract further investment.
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