19th July, 2015
Ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the United States, a former assistant secretary of state, Johnnie Carson, has stated that the discussion between Nigeria and United States should not be restricted to insecurity alone because Nigeria is the most important country in Africa and must be treated as such.
Carson said Washington should not let security issues overshadow the need for closer trade and investment ties.
“Nigeria is the most important country in Africa,” Carson who is currently an adviser to the United States Institute of Peace said.
Now more than ever, “the relationship with Nigeria should not rest essentially on a security and military-to-military relationship,” he added in an interview with Reuters.
Similarly, US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken told Reuters that: “President Barack Obama has long seen Nigeria as arguably the most important strategic country in sub-Saharan Africa.”
But noted that over the years the ties between US and Nigeria strained because Nigerian government refused to investigate corruption allegations in the country. “The question is would there be an opportunity to deepen our engagement and that opportunity is now,” he said of Buhari’s three-day visit to Washington.