President Muhammadu Buhari will meet U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington on April 30 to discuss issues on the fight against terrorism and economic ties between Nigeria and the United States, the White House announced yesterday.
“President Trump looks forward to discussing ways to enhance our strategic partnership and advance our shared priorities: promoting economic growth and reforms, fighting terrorism and other threats to peace and security, and building on Nigeria’s role as a democratic leader in the region,” the White House said in a statement.
Buhari, who travelled to the United Kingdom last week ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, is also billed to hold a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May today.
The Nigerian president will then address Commonwealth leaders towards the end of the week.
According to the White House, “The relationship of the United States with Nigeria is deep and strong, and Nigeria’s economic growth, security, and leadership in Africa will advance our mutual prosperity.”
Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is among the countries combatting Islamist extremism with help from the U.S.
The nation is battling an array of security threats across its territory, from Boko Haram jihadists in the northeast to oil militants in the south.
The announcement of the visit comes one day after the fourth anniversary of the Chibok schoolgirls’ abduction, which saw Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls.
The Nigerian president’s White House visit also follows a scandal that erupted in January when Trump allegedly branded African nations “shithole countries”.
The reported remark triggered global outrage and forced the U.S. president to pen a letter reaffirming his commitment to the continent.
Nigeria was among the countries included on Trump’s ex-secretary of state Rex Tillerson’s Africa tour last month — though the former Texas oilman truncated the trip just before the US president brutally sacked him.
Before returning to Washington, Tillerson had notably promised Nigeria support, ranging from equipment to intelligence to helping secure the swift release of the kidnapped schoolgirls.