Message from the Chairman
The Russian invasion of Ukraine that began in February sent shockwaves through the global economy, with repercussions that continue to be felt around the globe. With the United States ramping up its efforts to find reliable commercial partners in a world in which snarled supply chains and legal impediments to trade have become the norm, the opportunities present in Nigeria have taken center stage.
To highlight Nigeria’s status as a partner for energy and food independence, the U.S.-Nigeria Council hosted the Honourable Minister of Trade, Industry, and Investment, Mr. Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, at a breakfast on September 23 on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. The Honourable Minister spoke about his efforts to revolutionize Nigeria’s agricultural sector to become a leading exporter of foodstuffs in the region, as well as the country’s advances in supporting its energy industry in the face of rising prices and uncertain global supply.
I was thrilled to have the Council return to in-person programming for the first time since 2019 and was delighted to see many of our members and friends continue to build relationships and foster increased engagement between the business sectors of the United States and Nigeria.
In the meantime, campaigns are in full swing in Nigeria for general elections scheduled for the first quarter of 2023. A variety of issues have taken center stage as candidates tour the country to promote their agendas, and the U.S.-Nigeria Council has been closely following developments in several of these key sectors over the past year. I was pleased to see that the government was able to reach an agreement with Twitter to reverse its ban in Nigeria and am hopeful about the country’s push to support its highly innovative digital space.
To promote dialogue on the issue, we were pleased to host Nigerian Minister of Communications and Digital Economy H.E. Dr. Isa Ali Pantami on August 4. Following a turbulent year in Nigeria’s tech governance, Minister Pantami discussed his efforts to drive in-vestment into the sector and implement the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council’s recommendations to make Nigeria a maximally attractive investment destination. I was glad to hear about the continued emphasis the Honourable Minister placed on driving down the cost of data and creating an enabling environment for investors and entrepreneurs to thrive, as well as the updates he provided on these efforts since he last joined the U.S.-Nigeria Council in June 2021. The future continues to be bright for Nigeria’s tech space, an edge that all major presidential candidates have committed to protecting.
None of these activities would be possible without the unwavering support of our members. The special relationship the United States enjoys with Nigeria is more important now than ever before, and we look forward to working with you all to advance U.S.-Nigeria relations through challenges that have brought great uncertainty to sectors and regions that had enjoyed decades of stability. My very best wishes to you all during this challenging time.
Ambassador (ret.) Terence P. McCulley
Former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria (2010-2013);
Chairman, U.S. Nigeria Council
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.