US VP Kamala Harris calls Tinubu, backs subsidy removal, other decisions
Harris spoke with Tinubu about the strong ties between Nigeria and the American people, as well as their shared commitment to defending democracy in West Africa.
The conversation between Harris and President Tinubu took place on the evening of Thursday, July 27, 2023, and it remains the highest level of engagement between the U.S. government and the Nigerian President since his inauguration on May 29.
The U.S. Vice President discussed a wide range of issues with Tinubu, including the two nations' shared commitment to defending democracy in West Africa and the Sahel.
The duo also expressed deep concerns about the recent development in Niger Republic, where the military announced a takeover of power from the democratically elected President, Mohamed Bazoum.
Harris condemned the action and stressed that the U.S. cooperation with the Government of Niger is contingent on the country's continued commitment to democratic standards.
The readout of the conversation between the U.S. Vice President and Tinubu was published on the official website of the U.S. government late Thursday.
It read in part: "Vice President Kamala Harris spoke today with President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria, the highest-level U.S. engagement with President Tinubu since his May 2023 inauguration. The Vice President recognized Nigeria as a leading global voice and Africa’s largest democracy and economy.
"The Vice President and President Tinubu underscored their shared commitment to defending democracy in West Africa and the Sahel and deep concern about the attempted takeover in Niger.
"The Vice President strongly condemned any efforts to seize power by force in Niger, and emphasized that our substantial cooperation with the Government of Niger is contingent on Niger’s continued commitment to democratic standards."
Harris supports subsidy removal, other Tinubu policies
Harris also commended Tinubu's efforts to reform the Nigerian economy, including his decision to end the fuel subsidy and the attempt to unify foreign currency exchange rates.
"The Vice President expressed support for President Tinubu’s steps to reform Nigeria’s economy, including ending the fuel subsidy and unifying foreign currency exchange rates," the statement read.
Harris also discussed with Tinubu how Nigeria and the U.S. public and private sectors can work together to increase private sector investment in digital inclusion, women’s empowerment and expand access to clean energy.
She also underscored the U.S. government's long-standing support for Nigeria's democracy and good governance while emphasising that security services must act to serve the people they are mandated to support.
"Building on the investments announced during the Vice President’s trip to Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia earlier this year—including more than $8 billion in private sector commitments and $1 billion in U.S. government commitments—the Vice President and President Tinubu discussed how U.S. and Nigerian public and private sectors can work together to increase private sector investment, digital inclusion, women’s empowerment, and expand access to clean energy.
"The Vice President underscored the U.S. government’s long-standing support for Nigeria’s democracy and good governance, including governments’ responsibility to ensure that security services act to serve the people they are mandated to protect. The Vice President highlighted the deep ties between the United States and Nigeria, including people-to-people connections and the Diaspora," the readout concluded.
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