Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has pledged Washington's support to the Nigerian government's reforms.
Speaking at a meeting with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Security Council in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Thursday, Clinton said the Obama administration would remain very supportive to Nigerian government's reform efforts. "We're also very supportive of the anti-corruption reform efforts, more transparency, and the work that you and your team is also championing, because we really believe that the future for Nigeria is limitless," she said.
The top U.S. diplomat reminded that "the most important task that the country faces is making sure that there are better opportunities for all Nigerians - north, south, east, west - every young boy and girl to have a chance to fulfill his or her God-given potential. And we want to work with you and we will be by your side as you make the reforms and take the tough decisions that are necessary," she said.
Jonathan acknowledged the commitment the United States and the Obama administration has shown to its partnership with Nigeria. "We consider it absolutely vital, and through our bi-national commission, which, as you mentioned, has helped us to expand and deepen our cooperation on a full range of issues, we are working on economic matters, the improvement and the productivity of agriculture, education and health, security, the diversification of your economy, and so much more" the Nigerian President added.
Ahead of her visit to the West African country, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) had urged Clinton to take up with Jonathan the increasingly deadly violence in north and central Nigeria, security force abuses, corruption, and lack of accountability issues.
Despite Nigeria's abundant oil wealth, endemic government corruption and poor governance have robbed many Nigerians of their rights to health and education. These problems are most acute in the north - the country's poorest region - where widespread poverty and unemployment, sustained by corruption, and state-sponsored abuses have created an environment in which militant groups thrive.
Most of the violence is initiated by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.
by RTT Staff Writer
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