How important is Nigeria to the US? - CNBC Africa

How important is Nigeria to the US?

Western Africa

by Trust Matsilele 0

Obama has offered to assist Nigeria'S Buhari locate and return about $150 billion looted by corrupt government officials.PHOTO: citifmonline

Nigeria’s President Muhammed Buhari made inroads to ending fraudulent financial outflows from his country after US President Barack Obama agreed to assist in tracking down culprits.

Obama has offered to assist Nigeria locate and return about 150 billion US dollars looted by corrupt government officials.

Reports suggest that the US has offered to train judicial staff and prosecutors that will assist to uncover proceeds of corruption and improve the prosecution of cases of crime.

The two economies have also mutual interests in fighting insurgency.

(WATCH VIDEO: The significance of Buhari’s visit to the US)

“Some of the leading discussions will be on insurgency, war against corruption and providing power and infrastructure,” Bismarck Rewane, chief executive of Financial Derivatives told CNBC Africa. 

“There is commonality of interests between Nigeria’s Buhari and Obama is also making attempts of reaching out to Africa.”

Rewane added that Nigeria provides oil and stability in the Western part of Africa and will be critical in dealing with insurgency in the region.

There has been insurgency links between Boko Haram and other international terrorist groupings which poses a serious threat to world peace. 

(READ MORE: The money behind Obama’s Kenya visit)

He added that the US interests were also informed by competition from China.

“China has made massive inroads into Africa over the past five years and USA wants to match the Chinese in areas of quality, intellectual piracy and using the strength of its currency to promote good governance,” he said.

“The US provides security support to Nigeria, military equipment and hardware. Nigeria is also of strategic importance to the US because it is the biggest economy in the region and Africa which can become a model in countries where democracy has to be entrenched.”