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Nigeria: FG Solicits U.S. Congress Support On Economic Matters
Abuja, 25 August 2007 - Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, has enlisted the support of the Congress of the United States of America (USA) over Nigeria's economy, saying the President Umaru Yar'Adua government is determined to provide conducive environment for business.
The minister said the President is committed to declaring the energy issue as a national emergency.
The minister made this known when a US Congressman, Donald M. Payne paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
In a statement by Tony Onyekwere, the minister told the Congressman that Nigerian government has taken bold steps to strengthen the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He charged the Congressman that Nigerians should be treated very well, because of its economic endowments. He added that African countries need urgent attention to reduce poverty.
The Permanent Secretary, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed who was present told the Congressman that the AU had deliberated on the African High Command in Accra, Ghana, which later, passed it to the Committee on Security Matters in order to tidy up loose ends. He also spoke on Nigeria's commitment to contribute troops to the Somalia Stabilization Force. He confirmed that the situation on ground needs security to take place before the US/AU to come in. Donald M. Payne told the minister that he visited some African Countries for the purpose of seeing things for himself and solicitation of support for conflict resolution. He showed profound gratitude to the roles of Nigeria in Africa citing Liberia, Sierra Leone, ECOWAS and other crisis-torn countries.
In a realted development, the Liberian President, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, has honoured Ambassador Eineje Onobu, a career diplomat with over 33 years experience in the Nigerian Foreign Service, with the Grand Band in the Order of the Star of Africa.
The President pointed out that Ambassador Onobu got to Liberia at a period of crisis during its transition from war to peace and was also happy with his successful implementation of comprehensive Peace Agreement in which an international peacekeeping force got to Liberia for peace restoration.
President Johnson-Sirleaf expressed gratitude to the Ambassador for his selfless efforts in the solicitation of support from Nigeria in security, army reformation, police immigration and technical cooperation in which Nigerians currently work in hospitals, schools and University of Liberia.
"Separately, his Excellency, the Liberian Minister of Affairs, Ambassador John Wallace Jr. appreciated Ambassador Onobu for his service in Liberia as though he was a Liberian citizen. He has joined many of his compatriots to make sacrifices for Liberia for its citizens live in peace. Ambassador Onobu was endorsed as Chief coordinator of Nigerian relief assistance during the post conflict period for his help in the management of its financial and economic systems.
Ambassador Wallace summed up by saying that Ambassador Onobu has successfully established a relationship between Nigerian and Liberia through his sacrifice and selfless efforts.
Source: This Day (Lagos)