The United States Agency for International Development, (USAID) has disclosed plans to invest $60 million to boost agriculture in Nigeria and across West Africa. Speaking at the launch of the West Africa trade and Investment hub in Abuja, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said the project would improve the overall business operations and enhance capacity to tap into export markets with the U. S and other international companies. According to her, in five years, the trade hub “will administer $60 million in co-investment funds to attract private sector investment of $300 million in the region. The trade hub will increase economic growth across West Africa with more focus on Nigeria through a market based approach that will help companies to expand business operations and create jobs that build on the talents of the growing youth population.
She added: “Nigeria has opportunities for private sector investment, hence the trade hub will unlock this potential and improve ways of doing business in the agriculture sector as well as facilitate access to private capital.” She stressed that the project will complement the efforts of the Federal Government by co-investing with established private sector entities and other partners by expanding the program targeting the creation of 40,000 new jobs in Nigeria and West Africa by 2025.
Cheryl Anderson, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID Africa Bureau, remarked that the project would empower the private sector to play a more robust role in maximizing opportunities for Nigerian and American businesses. Anderson added that Nigeria, especially among West African nations has tremendous potential to mobilize private sector growth as a strategy for sustained economic growth. Sun News