U.S. pledges to strengthen commercial engagement with Nigeria

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Oladele Eniola/ Busayo Onijala
Lagos, Sept. 22, 2022 (NAN) The United States (U.S.) says it is committed to strengthening commercial engagement with Nigeria through African Development Bank (AFDB).
Ashley Ndir, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S Department of Commerce’s Liaison Office of the African Development Bank (AFDB), said this on Wednesday in Lagos.
She spoke at the first-ever Discover AFDB-Nigeria Business Spotlight which held at Microsoft Office in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was organised by the U.S. Commercial Service Liaison Office to the African Development Bank (AfDB) in collaboration with the American Business Council and the African Development Bank Nigeria Country Department.
She said the objective of the event was to inform US companies of the business opportunities provided by AfBD which would translate to commercial engagement with Nigeria.
“ The U.S. Commercial Liaison Office to the AfDB’s objective is to assist U.S. companies in navigating public and corporate procurement opportunities at the Bank and expand understanding of the resources of the AfDB’s private sector financing.
We want to see more American firms active in doing business with the AfDB here in Nigeria as well as across the continent.
“Commercial engagement with Nigeria would improve the economy and social businesses, so the importance of this event cannot be overemphasised,” she said.
She noted that the United States was the largest non-regional shareholder at the African Development Bank, which had 54 operations in their Nigeria portfolio valued at $4.5 billion.
“ Our vision is to boost economy and social businesses in the Africa especially in Nigeria where we have strong relationship.
“This is one of the many steps we take in ensuring that the bilateral relationship between both countries are strengthened because Nigeria is a key partner for the U.S.” she said.
Mr, Lamin Barrow, Director General, Country Department, AfDB Nigeria, outlined the bank’s strategy, key initiatives and financing activities to support the country’s economic and social progress.
He added that the bank’s mandate included tackling poverty and ensuring improvement in the living conditions of its regional members.
He noted that Nigeria and other African countries had huge infrastructure deficits which are major constraints to development.
“The bank’s country strategy paper for Nigeria seeks to promote structural transformation and inclusive growth through two mutually reinforcing pillars: Supporting Infrastructure Development and Promoting Social Inclusion through Agricbusiness and Skills Development.
“These priority areas provide an opportunity for the bank to support infrastructure development and the creation of an enabling business environment to catalyse private sector investments in the productive sectors of the economy.
“The Country Department of the AfDB is delighted to be part of this initiative to expand outreach and provide a platform to inform US firms about business opportunities arising from the bank’s financing activities to the public and private sector in African countries,” he said.
Margaret Olele, Chief Executive, American Business Council, said that the platform would serve as a springboard in creating business opportunities for Nigerians.
She added that it would help in boosting the economy of the country as employment opportunities would be created.