By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Lagos – The U.S. on Monday reaffirmed its commitment to support Nigeria to ensure avenues are open to economic growth and development for stronger business networks.
Mr John Bray, U.S. Consul-General said this when he visited the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos.
Bray said that the U.S. government and private sector would support Nigeria’s growth and development as it continues to discover new investment avenues.
He said that the U.S. government maintains a limited number of Bi-national Commission (BNC) relationships with nations demonstrating a high degree of friendship, trust and cooperation, adding that Nigeria was one of those nations.
Bray said that the formalised U.S.– Nigeria Commercial and Investment Dialogue to be led by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, would help develop stronger business networks between Nigeria and the U.S.
“There is always confidence in the Nigerian market, we talked about the bilateral commission, national commission between Nigeria and the United States, trading investment dialogue and these things are ongoing.
“I would like to say it is our concern and interest for the Nigerian economy to grow.
“I look at some of the UN projections for population growth, Nigeria is projected to be the third most populated country in the world by 2050.
“And that is more population than the United states, without capital investment, economic growth, there won’t be enough jobs for everybody, this is about prosperity and making Nigerians wealthier and about jobs.’’
According to him, this is a clear message that the U.S. both the government and the private sector is committed to supporting Nigeria as it continues to find new avenues of economic growth and development.
“Because the more Nigeria’s economy grows, the better it is for both Nigerian and American businesses’’, he said.
Bray commended the management of the NSE for their tireless efforts in meeting the needs of the Nigerian investor community and playing a pivotal role in Nigeria’s economic growth.
“I know that last year was a very successful year as the NSE was ranked among the top five performers in 2017.
“Projections indicate that 2018 will be an equally successful year, for the growth of the NSE means more private capital in the local market for business expansion and new business start-ups”, Bray said.
Mr Oscar Onyema, NSE Chief Executive Officer, said that the exchange would continue to value its relationship with the U.S.
“We will continue to value our relationship with the U.S. and we have had a discussion on how we can collaborate even more to provide opportunities.
“For both the U.S. and Nigerians with regards to capital market, and companies, among other issue,’’ Onyema said. (NAN)