Notwithstanding the success of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the United States of America last month, the US government was said to have informed him that it would not start to address the requests brought by the Nigerian government until Buhari sets up his cabinet.
Buhari had gone to the US with a number of requests including seeking assistance from America in Nigeria’s war against Boko Haram, support in the reconstruction of the North-east, support in the war against corruption, assistance in tracking down Nigeria’s stolen funds by past corrupt government officials, and increased trade and investment between Nigeria and the US.
But he US government made it clear that while it was willing to help Nigeria address some of its challenges, its officials advised Buhari during his three-day visit to the country to set up his cabinet and put in place a crack team that could help address the multi-faceted problems of the country.
Reports provide that the issue was raised during some of the meetings the US government officials held with Buhari and his team, when the US, led by its president, Barak Obama, said it had expected Buhari to come to Washington with crucial members of his cabinet in order to hold fruitful and productive deliberations.
According to a source at the meetings, the US officials were somewhat disappointed with the president’s team during the visit, which comprised mainly civil servants, adding that the US reckoned that the civil servants would not be able to address any of the country’s requests or provide policy direction until Buhari sets up a team that would help him realise his plans for the country.
Although the source maintained that Buhari’s US visit was “highly successful”, given the renewed relations between the two countries, he stated that Nigeria should not expect much from the US until Buhari’s cabinet emerges, adding that the US was quite emphatic on Buhari’s team before lending support to Nigeria.
He revealed that the position of the US was reiterated during Buhari’s meeting with the US Secretary of State John Kerry.
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