President Muhammadu Buhari spoke on Thursday at State House, Abuja, while receiving Mr Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State.
“Federal Government has to wait for the reaction of the states,” he said in a statement by Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity and obtained by Persecondnews.
On the recent removal of Nigeria from the watchlist of countries violating religious freedom, Buhari commended the United States for the action.
“There is freedom of worship in Nigeria, and no one is discriminated against on the basis of his or her faith.”
He said education is a priority in the country, “because when you educate a people, there are certain levels they will not fall below.”
The President equally appreciated the United States of America for allowing Nigeria to procure military hardware to fight terrorism in the country, and for the training given to Nigerian military.
“It is helping us to stabilize the situation in the Northeast, and we have made a lot of progress since 2015. We are doing a lot on security, and the people involved appreciate our efforts,” Buhari said.
“You are even lucky if you have two terms. Others try hard, and don’t get it. The American model has been accepted by Nigerians as the best.”
Nigeria and her neighbors, the President noted, have been living with the impact of climate change for a while, which has seen the Lake Chad shrink drastically from its original size, and affected the livelihood of about 30 million people in the Lake Chad Basin countries.
“That is why the youths defy the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean to attempt emigrating to Europe. Inter-basin water transfer is needed to keep the youths at home, and they can resume their lives of farming, fishing, and animal husbandry.”
Mr Blinken, who had held a virtual meeting with the Nigerian President earlier in the year, said jocularly that it was now good to see him “mask to mask, hoping that we will soon see face to face.”
He appreciated the contributions of President Buhari to protection of the climate, particularly his presence and contributions at the recent COP26 climate conference held in Glasgow, Scotland.
Blinken said America and Nigeria have diverse challenges, but a common denominator is security, and hoped for better partnerships, “so that the bad guys won’t get the good guys.”