Monday, July 4, 2016

USA to block Nigeria's looted funds from banks

James Entwistle, the U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, has expressed his country’s readiness to stand hand in hand with Nigeria and provide any assitance needed to jointly combat corruption. He also assured that no looted funds are laundered through the American banking system. According to the diplomat, the Obama administration has already offered technical assistance to local anti-graft agencies for the training of investigators and prosecutors.

Mr Entwistle made the announcement during the 240th United States Independence Anniversary celebration cocktail party in Abuja on Saturday. He said: “Not just the political freedom you exercised last year, but freedom from fear, freedom from want, freedom from sickness, and freedom from corruption. The last election was tremendous democratic success, not only for Nigeria, but the growth of democracy across Africa. As you fight Boko Haram and secure and rebuild the Northeast, and you strive for harmony in the Niger Delta and across the land, we will continue to help in every appropriate way.

Indeed, let us redouble our efforts on the humanitarian front in the Northeast. Nigerians are dying of starvation in Nigeria. The United States stands with every Nigerian who believes that Nigeria can be healthier, safer, and more prosperous.” On economy and investments The ambassador also commended Nigeria’s economy direction, stressing the importance of fuel subsidy removal and foreign exchange rate control. Besides, he urged the government to keep developing investment-friendy environment to attract more foreign companies thus boosting economy.

“As you continue privatization of the power grid, through President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, we stand ready to, among other things, help companies invest in building more electricity infrastructure, especially environmentally-friendly power generation. As you increase your commitment to healthcare and education, we support those efforts too,” he assured Mr. Entwistle, who has worked 35 and a half years at the U.S. Foreign Service, is planning to retire and leave his post of the ambassador to Nigeria by the end of this month. He has described his stay in Nigeria as a fascinating time and expressed optimism and hope for the better future for Nigeria. However, he refused to comment on his letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, over sexual allegations against three Nigerian lawmakers while on official trip to the U.S. months ago.

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