John James, Chairperson and ranking member of the United States House of Representatives and Foreign Affairs Committee on Africa, has said there is currently a $90 billion infrastructural gap that investors can effectively tap into in Africa.
Speaking, yesterday, at the ongoing Foreign Press Centre (FPC) press reporting tour for select African journalists including The Guardian in Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. he said the U.S. is committed to increasing their relationship and engagement with all the African nations.
“We are committed to increasing the relationship and partnership with all the African countries. It is our desire that Nigeria makes the US the first choice for every economic and investment exchange and this will require mutual commitment from us both. Unfortunately, during conversations with African partners, I am often told that they have no choice but to accept foreign-based concessions because there are no viable American alternatives. I think we must do more to consistently and reliably show up for Nigeria and other African countries, to prove that we are reliable partners,” James said.
He said increasing engagement and increasing mutually beneficial relationship with Nigeria is in both countries’ best interests.
“Statistics show overwhelmingly that our citizens desire good governance, democracy and provision of basic amenities for all,” he said.
He said it is clear that the U.S. is no longer the only choice and must put effort into becoming the country’s first choice.
Another ranking member, Sarah Jacobs, said they are more determined to renew and strengthen their relationship with Nigeria and the rest of Africa.
“We are pretty young to be members of Congress but we know Africa has the youngest population and a fast-growing economy which shouldn’t be ignored or only looked at only in times of crisis. For too long, it has been assistance being handed out but going forward, we want it to be majorly partnerships between us both,” she said.