U.S -Nigeria Relations: Time For a RESET.

On Friday, August 23, 1963, the American President, John F Kennedy, made a phone call to the Nigerian Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, via the Syncom Communications Satellite. The conversation lasted for 2 minutes and 19 seconds.

In the conversation, the two leaders exchanged pleasantries and talked about the boxing match in which the Nigerian middle weight boxer, Dick Tiger, defeated America’s Gene Fulmer.

This conversation symbolises the long time intimacy that exist between the United States of America and Nigeria.

Sadly diplomatic relations between Nigeria and the United States was at their lowest ever during Obama’s tenure. Obama’s apathy and economic war on the Jonathan administration sent Nigeria into its worst economic depression in 30 years. Nigeria is gradually just recovering from Obama’s one-two punch below the belt.

But with President Muhammadu Buhari at the helms of affairs of Africa’s biggest nation, and the pragmatic Donald Trump at the helm of affairs of the worlds unique superpower, both countries are beginning to see they are at a critical curve in their country’s history, and if we have a leader able to articulate Nigeria’s promise and the shared destiny of both country’s. Both countries have more that unites them than divides them.

FACTS

Nigeria has Africa’s largest economy. The United States, the worlds largest.

Nigeria is the United States largest trading partner in Africa.

Nigeria has the 4th largest democracy in the world.

Nigeria is the continent’s democratic leader. The United States, the world’s leader.

Nigeria is the only country in Africa that models its political structure on that of the United States.

Both country are seen as powers in decline.

Both leaders are the oldest in their country’s history.

Both leaders have it rough with the media. So much gaffe’s.

Both countries have the largest Christian population in the world.

Both countries are first and second with the most bible’s in circulation.

The United States is the most devout nation in the developed world.

Nigeria is the most devout country in Africa.

Nigeria is the hope of Africa with her market, human and mineral resources. A super power like the United States will no doubt find in Nigeria, a viable partner to deepen Africa’s prosperity, and why not?.

American has an abundance of capital; Nigeria has an abundance of human and natural resources. You need labor and capital to generate economic activity. Therefore it makes sense for America to ignore the French and expand its economic footprint in one of the most dynamic and vibrant entrepreneurial consumer market the world has ever seen

Economic activities between both countries doesn’t have to be on crude. With American capital and knowhow, Nigeria can become a developed country and therefore Nigerians will be able to afford more American made goods just like the people of South Korea and Western Europe, but with a difference. Nigeria outspends just about every other nation in the aforementioned countries.

Nigerians literally saved the British real estate sector in 2013. Outspending Russia and the UAE. South African companies saw this potential soon enough and fought hard to gain entry into the Nigerian market. In five years MTN became the largest and most profitable telecoms company in Africa and Middle East, with %70 of its revenue base coming from the Nigerian market alone.

Enter the self aggrandizing hypocrite, Barack Obama.

When Obama became the president of the U.S., his first snob was to the people of Nigeria. First it was corruption. Then it morphed into a diplomatic tug of war over Nigeria’s same-sex legislation, leading to a direct threat by Obama of economic and diplomatic retribution. So Obama decided to fly over Nigeria to visit  Ghana as his first outing to Africa.

Needless to say, for a country of 150 million people who are staunchly pro-American in everything they do, it was embarrassing that the president picked Ghana over Nigeria, after all, Nigeria is often referred to as the giant of Africa. So how can you ignore the giant and be paying attention to the midget. But the most powerful black man in the world was not done with Nigeria.

Enter Boko Haram.

The war with Boko Haram was beginning to turn against Nigeria. In desperation Nigeria turned to its ally, the United States to follow-up on an earlier agreed deal to buy combat helicopters. Emphasis on the word BUY.

It should be noted that at this time, the U.S. Congress was debating whether to approve a grant $200 million to Israel to buy more American made weapons to contain the threat Iran might pose in the future. This does not include the other $4 billion grant it gives to Israel and Egypt by law every year.

It makes sense, Israel is America’s number one ally in the Middle East, and its a good thing to support every effort to make sure that Israel’s security is not threatened. However, the Obama administration continued to treat Nigeria, America’s 4th largest oil supplier like a street begger, pasing on no chance to embarrass the Nigerian government and sabotage the Jonathan administrations war effort by blocking attempts by her allies to sell weapons to Nigeria.

Historically Republicans tend to treat Nigeria and other African states with dignity because of their pragmatism. There is an economic trade war between the United States and China. President Trump realises that in America’s absense, China is already filling the void.

Therefore, as a friend, and an “ally” it is in the best interest of U.S. to help Nigeria develop as fast as possible instead of producing reports that seem to suggest that “Nigeria might become a failed state” If Nigeria becomes a failed state, it will definitely impact the U.S. and the world in more ways than we can think of now or in the future

Furthermore, President Trump has repeated time and again his preference for skilled workers migrating into the U.S and called for an end to the Visa Lottery. While much of the deserved derision has been focused on Trump’s use of profanity, there is no transgression in his part for wanting to select the best of those wanting to come to his country.

Going by studies carried out by U,S Think Tanks, Nigeria outclasses Asians, Latino’s and Caucasians in the number of degree holders in the U.S. This is even more pronounced in Post Graduate degrees where a staggering %45 of Post Graduate Degree holders are Nigerian immigrants.

African immigrants bring the brainpower America needs to remain the world’s leader in innovation. Nigerian immigrants make up about 0.7% of America’s black population but make up around 10% of the nation’s black physicians. According to Yale researchers Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld, between 20% and 25% of the 120 black students at Harvard Business Schools were Nigerian.

“As early as 1999, Nigerians were overrepresented among black students at elite American colleges and universities by a factor of about 10,” Chua and Rubenfeld write in their book, “The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America.”

Forget what the negativity the biased Liberal media paints him, President  Trump is not clueless about the value immigrants from African countries bring to America. They most often bring strong families, a tireless work ethic and a love for America unmatched even by citizens born here.

Afterall it was a Nigerian Forensic pathologist Dr Bennet Omalu who discovered a neurological deterioration that is similar to Alzheimer’s disease, and published his findings.

Not the Chinese, but a Naija guy. The implications of this is staggering. More than half of America’s citizens would have been financially better off if they had been Nigerian immigrants.

Ironically, Nigerians are demonized the most by fellow Africans, than by any other group of people. You hear it everyday, Nigerians are this, Nigerians are criminals, Nigerians are stealing our women, Nigerians are bringing drugs, Nigerians are this Nigerians are that…..meanwhile inwardly they are seething with envy and fail to realize that Nigeria’s exploits reflects favorably on well-educated Africans, making them want to leave their current situation and make a better life for themselves.

Now of course, not every Nigerian immigrant can be a Dr Bennet Omalu or a John Boyega, but Nigerians can be as dedicated, family oriented and hardworking. This represents the core value of the Conservative Republican party. If Dr Omalu had not struggled to leave his mother and father breaking free to the U.S, America might have missed out on its most precocious, doctor.

The United States, with its soft power is the architect of today’s modern interconnected world – Global Village. The majority of Americans don’t have a passport and are ignorant when it comes to geography, not necessarily because they are snobbish, but because Americans really have no need to leave America. The has everything. Its the leader is almost every category that bears the hallmark of a great power .

Likewise, Since the return of democracy at the tail end of the 20th century, Nigeria has become a face of modern Africa with its megacities, and is the only country in the world with similar attributes of the United States.

Nigeria has something that everyone would need, from its rich culture and exploding music and art scene to exciting activities and fine food.  Spiritual shrines, museums, stunning waterfronts and amazing landscapes, plus the hospitality of the people make it a beautiful country. Nigeria is a country with seemingly limitless naural resources and has become one of the most visited countries in Africa.

IMG_20180502_212902.jpg
President Buhari meets with the Chief Executive Officers of six American agricultural companies and their counterparts including Aliko Dangote and Coumantaros. The President’s vision is for a Nigeria that grows what it eats.

Most importantly, the most important measure of national maturity is conducting free and fair elections. As it stands Nigeria has the best democratic structure in Africa. With a pragmatic president at the White House now is the best time for  Nigeria to restore that strategic relationship and put a wedge between France and the its military expansionist policy in West Africa.

During the White House Press conference President Trump talked about agriculture and the possible sale of Agricultural machinery to Nigeria.

Nigeria has the potential to be a key exporter of agricultural produce. It has over 84 million hectares of arable land, larger than the size of Turkey — but only 40 percent of it is currently cultivated. It has abundant rainfall and a labor force that can increase agriculture production.

Rather than building $100 million Reaper drone bases all around Nigeria, the U.S can best effectively put an end Islamic extremists via stronger economic ties with Nigeria. The infusion of American foreign investment in the Agricultural sector alone can grow to feed Nigerians and the wider world. It’s time for a RESET to U.S Nigeria strategic relationship.

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