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HomeGovernmentJoint Statement on the 2024 U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission

Joint Statement on the 2024 U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission

The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the Government of Nigeria on the occasion of the sixth U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission in Abuja on April 29-30, 2024.

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The Governments of the United States of America and the Federal Republic of Nigeria held the sixth round of the U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission in Abuja on April 29-30, 2024.  This year’s Binational Commission built on the strong foundation agreed during the January 23, 2024, meeting between President Bola Tinubu and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken in Abuja, as well as the momentum from the last BNC held in Washington, D.C., in February 2020.

Foreign Minister Yusuf M. Tuggar led the Nigerian Interministerial delegation, while Deputy Secretary of State Kurt M. Campbell and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Phee headed the U.S. delegation of federal departments and agencies.  Strategic discussions covered a wide range of bilateral and global issues in which U.S.-Nigeria cooperation advances mutual interests in security, prosperity, and human development.  Both sides acknowledged that our relationship is grounded in shared values of pluralism and respect for sovereignty.  Both sides renewed commitments to promote democracy and respect for human rights, cooperate for shared economic prosperity, and jointly overcome health and security challenges.

The U.S. delegation welcomed an overview of Foreign Minister Tuggar’s 4D policy of Democracy, Development, Demography, and Diaspora and took note of Nigerian ideas to incorporate U.S. contributions to meeting these goals.  The U.S. delegation noted that in FY 2023, U.S. development, humanitarian, and security assistance to Nigeria approached $1 billion annually.

Deputy Secretary Campbell invited Foreign Minister Tuggar to meet Secretary Blinken in Washington at a date to be determined.  The United States announced a planned visit by the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement to Nigeria in July.  The U.S. delegation also discussed a major symposium in Washington, D.C., in October to bring together American and Nigerian technology leaders.

Shared Prosperity

Participants discussed Nigeria’s bold economic reform agenda and the importance of sound macroeconomic policies to enhance investor confidence and attract private sector investment.  Both sides welcomed constructive comments from Nigerian and African businesses on the operating environment and discussed the importance of transparency and predictability for investors in Nigeria.  The two sides reiterated their intent to take steps to expand trade and investment ties and shared an understanding that expanding ties offered the potential to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth and job creation in both countries.  Already, the United States International Development Finance Corporation has a portfolio of over $700 million in direct loans, loan guarantees and other financing support in Nigeria.  In line with its prioritization of infrastructure investment, the United States presented the principles of the Blue Dot Network to Nigeria.  Both countries actively engaged in discussions focused on the principles of the Blue Dot Network.  Nigeria looks forward to further engagement with the U.S. government on this issue.

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment for Nigeria are developing a Commercial and Investment Partnership, showcasing a mutual commitment to deepening commercial and investment ties between our two countries.  This Partnership focuses on key priority sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, and the digital economy.

With a focus on innovation, the U.S. delegation shared perspectives on emerging technologies and announced plans for a U.S. government-funded artificial intelligence (AI) conference in Lagos later this year.  Both governments stressed their commitment to the overarching goals of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA) initiative, which is working to promote opportunities in the digital economy through access to digital infrastructure and skills to advance social and gender equality and create jobs, are committed to empowering youth and women working and studying in technology fields as a path to economic growth.   In addition to expanding digital skills, the two governments intend to create education-focused exchange programs to enhance executive levels. The United States commended Nigeria’s ambitions to increase information and communications technology infrastructure and leverage opportunities to expand cooperation on emerging technologies development, such as AI.  Both sides expressed interest in deepening cooperation in strengthening Nigeria’s digital economy through a structured forum for regular multi-stakeholder engagement every three months between U.S. and Nigerian government officials and the U.S. business community to discuss progress toward achieving the U.S.-Nigeria Joint Action Plan on Digital Transformation.  The United States also discussed DTA-funded support for the development and implementation of Nigeria’s National Policy on Digital Public Infrastructure, Startup Act, National Artificial Intelligence Strategy, and National Public Key Infrastructure.  The two sides also discussed Nigeria’s interest in joining the Global Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) Forum as an Associate Member, as well as potential Nigerian participation in the Department of Commerce National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) African Women Digital Leaders Training Programs.  Lastly, the two governments shared their intent to strengthen bilateral space cooperation.

The United States highlighted the importance of Nigeria removing import prohibitions and reducing high tariffs on a wide array of agricultural products to help address food insecurity and food price inflation.  The United States also emphasized its engagement in improving food security and strengthening agricultural productivity, both globally and in Nigeria.  This includes the announcement of a new $75 million investment by the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to support the development, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of Indorama’s third urea-ammonia fertilizer facility in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.  Additionally, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) shared a $50 million five-year Water for the World country plan for Nigeria approved in July 2023.  The United States also announced its Global Food Security Strategy for Nigeria launched in March.

Both sides noted that the two-way trade in goods now totalled over $10 billion.  Nigeria expressed its desire to increase African exports to the United States, while the United States reaffirmed its commitment to Nigeria’s development and pledged efforts to facilitate Nigeria’s use of trade opportunities.  The two sides discussed Nigeria’s utilization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and identified ways to increase sustainable and inclusive growth.

The United States and Nigeria confirmed the importance of expanding energy access and reliability as fundamental to achieving economic growth and prosperity.  To that end, the United States highlighted that Power Africa, working with Congress, intends to support a new, five-year, $90 million program to support on and off-grid development.  Recognizing the threat of climate change, both governments reaffirmed that they are committed to collaborating on and strengthening existing workstreams under the Net Zero World (NZW) Initiative, deploying renewable energy to reduce emissions and expanding electricity access, and rapidly reducing methane emissions and gas flaring to achieve the goal of the Global Methane Pledge.  Both sides look forward to the launch of the Clean Energy Alliance of Nigeria, a clean energy buyers association to aggregate corporate demand for renewable energy under the Clean Energy Demand Initiative (CEDI).  The United States and Nigeria intend to augment work through the Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources’ Energy and Mineral Governance Program to reduce oil and gas sector methane emissions, key to advancing climate goals.  Finally, the United States looks forward to hosting a Nigerian delegation for an inaugural Energy Security Dialogue in September in Washington to expand and deepen our energy partnership, enhance ongoing cooperation, and explore increased energy investment opportunities between the United States and Nigeria in the energy sector.

The United States and Nigeria noted the importance of aviation in facilitating not only people-to-people ties but also trade and investment.  To this end, the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs conveyed its formal intention to bring the 2000 Open Skies Agreement into force.

Security Cooperation

The United States and Nigeria, guided by their shared democratic principles, are committed to deepening military and law enforcement cooperation and developing strategies to mitigate civilian harm and protect human rights.  As a result of this cooperation, the United States shared the Department of Defense Civilian Harm Mitigation and Response Action Plan (CHMR-AP) and information about the U.S. civilian harm mitigation process.  In turn, Nigeria shared its plans to adopt and implement its own Civilian Protection Policy.

The two sides further explored innovative solutions to improve security conditions in Nigeria and the region and pledged to continue to work together to address insecurity, including in the Gulf of Guinea.  The two governments intend to establish a standing security working group that would enable deeper security cooperation.

Both sides reaffirmed their intent to further strengthen counterterrorism cooperation, including by working together on aviation security, border security, terrorism financing, and law enforcement and investigative capacity.  The U.S. side saluted Nigeria’s leadership role in galvanizing African and international partner efforts to counter terrorism on the continent in a manner consistent with international law through whole-of-society approaches, as demonstrated by its hosting of the High-Level African Counterterrorism Meeting in partnership with the United Nations Office of Counterterrorism on April 22-23 in Abuja.  Both sides reaffirmed their pledge to counter al-Qaeda, ISIS, and their affiliates, including through sanctions designations as well as through the two countries’ membership in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.  The United States noted that it intends to provide support to build the capacity of Nigerian law enforcement to detect and disarm improvised explosive devices and other types of explosives used by criminal and terror groups.

The United States demonstrated a strong commitment to support Nigeria’s efforts to build the capacity of Nigeria’s criminal justice system and strengthen police reforms and accountability in Nigeria.  Both sides discussed developing, training, and equipping the Special Intervention Squads, rapid reaction units for responding to kidnapping, criminal, and terrorist actions and ensuring the security and respect for human rights of those in Nigeria.  The United States affirmed its support for expanding the Police Complaint Response Unit to other Nigerian cities and building increased capacity for investigating and conducting reviews of crimes and misconduct by police officers.  Both sides discussed President Tinubu’s creation of a police reform commission, and the United States offered its expertise to the Government of Nigeria.  Both also discussed the potential challenges and needs of state police forces should the Nigerian Assembly pass an act creating such.  The United States and Nigeria also discussed collaboration in developing analytical tools and crime mapping to facilitate more effective law enforcement operations.

On transnational organized crime, the United States commended Nigeria’s efforts and regional leadership in the effort to combat drug trafficking.  The United States also intends to provide additional support to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to combat the trafficking of synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl and captagon, to step up the interdiction and dismantling of clandestine methamphetamine laboratories, and to facilitate more regional cooperation on countering drug trafficking and trafficking in persons.  The United States complimented Nigeria’s substantial efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking in persons cases, and both sides also discussed how to improve efforts internally and regionally.

Nigeria and the United States shared concerns regarding the threats that cybercrime poses to mutual peace, prosperity, and security.  Nigeria identified its several efforts and capabilities for combatting cybercrime, presenting many avenues for bilateral cooperation.  The United States commended Nigeria for acceding to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime in 2023 and Nigeria’s collaboration in several fora on cybercrime.  The United States and Nigeria pledged to work together on combatting cybercriminals who target citizens of both countries.  To that end, the United States announced the upcoming deployment of an INL-funded cybercrime advisor in Nigeria to facilitate that cooperation and provide training, equipment, and technical assistance to build Nigeria’s capacity for cybercrime, including fraud scams and sextortion.  Both sides understand the need to reinforce efforts to combat cyber-enabled money laundering and [cyber-enabled] fraud and to make greater use of both technology and international cooperation mechanisms such as extradition and mutual legal assistance.

Democracy, Governance, and Accountability

The two sides affirmed their commitment to fostering accountable and effective democratic institutions, strengthening the rule of law and respect for human rights, and improving government accountability and fiscal transparency.  The United States saluted Nigerian efforts to enable greater citizen participation in government through the use of information technology.  The United States and Nigeria are committed to working together on Nigerian strides toward greater transparency with the Open Government Partnership.  The United States pledged to support Nigeria’s efforts to increase transparency of public financial management and civil society efforts to increase government transparency.  Nigeria emphasized its prioritization of anti-corruption efforts and its commitment to continued participation in the Global Forum for Asset Recovery (GFAR) Action series.

The two governments discussed ways the Nigerian government could better coordinate with civil society stakeholders to resolve conflict, especially by supporting state peacebuilding agencies.  They also discussed potential legislative solutions that would enable both farmers and herders to live in peace and security.  The United States discussed its support to bolster the rule of law and, help improve Nigerian conflict response and expand community peacebuilding in Nigeria through early warning and early response activities.

The United States and Nigeria reiterated their strong and longstanding commitment to respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.  The sides emphasized the need to take active, sustained steps to respect the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and religion or belief for all and the importance of promoting mutual respect and peaceful coexistence among religious communities.  Participants further emphasized the importance of protecting civilians, particularly members of vulnerable communities, and holding perpetrators of violence accountable.

Partnerships in Health

Both nations emphasized the crucial role of improved health as a fundamental pillar for enhancing the well-being and inclusive development of the Nigerian people, in alignment with the new Health Sector Renewal Strategy.  The United States commended Nigeria’s commitment to increasing health expenditures, particularly through annual increases to procure lifesaving HIV Anti-Retroviral (ARV) drugs.  The U.S. delegation noted that through PEPFAR, the United States invested more than $8.3 billion in lifesaving HIV and related TB programs.  Highlighting the progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, both sides reiterated their shared goal to end HIV as a public health threat in Nigeria by 2030.

The two sides recognized important bilateral efforts to enhance cooperation in the health sector through increased research and technical collaboration, investment in human capital development and healthcare infrastructure, facilitation of a predictable regulatory environment through shared understanding, and the exchange of best practices.  The U.S. delegation welcomed Nigeria’s announcement of its intent to establish lead paint laws, standards, and plans to address lead in consumer products, including spices and cosmetics.

Building upon the longstanding partnership between the two nations in combatting infectious diseases, leaders expressed their intent to further strengthen cooperation on pandemic preparedness, prevention, and response, with a particular focus on vaccine delivery and the research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics as identified in Nigeria’s National Action Plan for Health Security.  Both countries reaffirmed their commitment to eradicate polio in Nigeria and meet the revised target goal 2026 while laying the foundation for the Nigerian government to increase its funding for polio surveillance per the National Polio Emergency Action Plan.  Both governments reaffirmed the importance of the Nigerian government’s engagement with the National Assembly to enact health security legislation and of sharing Nigeria’s successes in mapping and addressing gaps in legal frameworks for health security with Global Health Security Agenda partners.  The United States acknowledged Nigeria’s progress in creating an enabling environment for local pharmaceutical manufacturing through its Unlocking Value Chains policy and pledged continued support in this endeavour.

Global Issues and Multilateral Reform

Nigeria and the United States remain united on the need to modernize global governance institutions in order to adapt to meet future challenges.  The United States expressed support for Nigeria’s drive for reforms to global governance institutions, including permanent representation for Africa on the United Nations Security Council, increased representation for Africa at senior levels of the IMF, and reform of the WTO to increase equity.  The two sides intend to continue the discussion of global tax reform.  The United States welcomes Nigeria’s leadership on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

Movement of People

Both countries stressed priorities on the movement of people, including visas and adoptions, and reaffirmed bilateral agreements related to the operation of diplomatic missions and staffing of the operations of USAID, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, INL, and their contractors.  Both countries pledged to strengthen cooperation under the bilateral extradition treaty.

Partnership

The United States recognized Nigeria’s leadership in Africa and on the international stage, including its important role in the United Nations and other international fora and its diplomacy to maintain or return to democracy among ECOWAS members.  Under the elevated framework of the BNC, both sides reaffirmed their desire to continue working closely together at the bilateral, regional, and international levels.

The U.S. delegation thanked Nigeria for the warm welcome and excellent organization of the BNC.  It was decided that the next meeting of the BNC should be held in Washington, DC, at a mutually convenient date to be arranged through diplomatic channels.

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Official news published at https://www.state.gov/joint-statement-on-the-2024-u-s-nigeria-binational-commission/

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