Building a New Era of US-Nigeria Commercial Relations

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Message from the Chairman

March 2019

Nigeria just completed its sixth national election since the return to civilian rule in 1999. The administration of the election was not perfect, and turnout — estimated at 40 percent — was disappointing, but Nigerians can be proud of their role in consolidating the country’s institutions in Africa’s largest democracy. Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared President Buhari the victor, a result confirmed by a youth-led coalition of Nigerian civil society, which carried out a Parallel Vote Tabulation during the February 23 election.

President Buhari has a huge task before him as he looks to a second term in office. Security challenges, including the Boko Haram insurgency in the country’s northeast, conflict in Nigeria’s middle belt, where fighting between pastoralists and farmers has resulted in over 1,000 deaths in the past year, and a resurgence of unrest in the Niger Delta require both immediate action and a hard look at reforming Nigeria’s security sector. Better training, more effective command and control and respect for human rights are essential elements of a reformed Nigerian army that can address challenges in multiple theaters of operation while instilling confidence in the civilian population in the affected areas. On the economy, a second Buhari administration must address widespread poverty and unemployment, particularly among Nigeria’s youth, while carrying out reforms in the critically-important oil sector, including standing up the new institutions called for in the Petroleum Industries Governance Bill. President Buhari’s appointments in his second term will be a key indicator of his priorities, and I hope he will populate his administration with ministers and senior officials who understand that the private sector must be the driver of economic growth and poverty-reduction.

For its part, the US-Nigeria Council (USNC) stands ready to play its role in the most important and dynamic economy on the African continent. As a convener, clearinghouse and catalyst for investment into Nigeria, the USNC will continue to promote expanded commercial ties between the United States and Nigeria.

Who We Are

The U.S.-Nigeria Council (USNC) is the premier organization dedicated to strengthening commercial and business ties between the United States and Nigeria. The Council builds and supports long-term business partnerships between US and Nigerian companies that drive innovation, entrepreneurship, technology transfer, job creation, and economic growth in both economies.

USNC membership offers high-level services, including exclusive access to meetings and events, executive business intelligence and council advocacy for member issues and priorities.

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June 19, 2019 | Washington, D.C.

The US-Nigeria Council for Food Security, Trade & Investment (USNC) notes the alleged infractions of securities regulations by Oando PLC. Oando PLC, as a founding member of the Council and as an active and valued participant in the Council’s activities, plays an important role in promoting business and direct investment in Nigeria.

The Council and its members are committed to strengthening the commercial relations between the United States and Nigeria and recognize the importance that strong capital markets play in attracting foreign investment, creating new jobs and stimulating economic growth. As part of this, it is critical that the regulatory framework governing Nigeria’s capital markets remain robust, with due process and fair and equitable treatment for all parties.

The Council has confidence in the regulatory authorities and the Nigerian judicial system, and advocates for this matter to be resolved with transparency, due process and full respect for the rule of law.

The Council will continue its mission to promote opportunities in Nigeria to US investors and advance commercial partnerships that contribute to economic growth in Nigeria.

In April, the USNC hosted an exclusive dinner on the margins of the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings in Washington D.C. Attendees at the dinner discussed the evolving direction of US-Nigerian commercial relations and emerging business opportunities.

The US Nigeria Council hosted a Washington, DC reception and dinner focused on the digital economy on the margins of the IMF-World Bank week in April 2018.

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The U.S. Nigeria Council hosted a New York deal making dinner on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September 2017.

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The U.S. Nigeria Council hosted high-level private and public sector representatives for a breakfast on July 25, 2017. Guests were given an exclusive briefing on evolving U.S.-Nigeria relations by a high level U.S. Embassy official. The briefing was followed by intimate discussion about business opportunities and strengthening U.S.-Nigeria relations.

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The U.S. Nigeria Council hosted the Nigerian launch of the Council in March 2017.

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The U.S. Nigeria Council welcomed high-level private and public sector representatives for a reception and dinner on April 14, 2016. With remarks from Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State and the Council Co-Chairs. guests were introduced to USNC’s vision and objectives.

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Our Purpose

Regionally in-tune, the Council’s work actively supports Nigeria’s national strategy for economic prosperity and US commercial diplomacy. With the support of key Nigerian political and economic institutions including the Nigerian Sovereign Trust Fund, the Council helps to advance critical trade and investment initiatives by maximizing industrial free trade zones, diversifying exports, integrating agro-investments into global supply chains, and matching energy development to production needs.

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The Council has twenty permanent members, 10 U.S. and 10 Nigerian, two co-chairs and an executive director. In addition, the Council offers rotating membership opportunities to ensure the inclusion of entrepreneurs and representatives from small and medium sized companies with interests in Nigeria.

Founding Members