U.S. Ambassador James Entwistle continued his familiarization tour of Nigeria with an assurance to the people of Kaduna that the United States is here to cooperate with Nigeria as equal partners working together in different areas, including education, security cooperation, health, cultural relations, and investments.
“The United States is not here to do things for Nigeria but to do things with Nigeria as two equals working together to make the world a better place,” Ambassador Entwistle told Kaduna State Deputy Governor Nuhu Audu Bagoda and members of the Kaduna State Executive Council on February 8. During his courtesy call, Ambassador Entwistle noted to the deputy governor that his visit to Kaduna was a key part of his first trip to the North, which would continue in Sokoto and Zamfara states. “As the U.S. ambassador to Nigeria,” Entwistle said, “I will work to ensure that this unique partnership between our two countries continues to grow and flourish.”
The ambassador’s delegation to Kaduna included Mike Harvey, mission director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Dr. Pam Schmoll, wife of the ambassador, and Laura Harvey, wife of the USAID director. Ambassador Entwistle also met members of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, Kaduna State Chapter, led by the general secretary, Matthew Obogbaimhe at the chamber’s complex.
The Nigerian-American Chambers of Commerce are registered trade promotion and facilitation entities comprised of Nigerian businessmen and women who foster business ties with American companies. In 2013, U.S. firm General Electric received the 2013 U.S. Export-Import Bank Sub-Saharan Africa Exporter of the Year Award for its sale of water purification equipment to WATTCCON, a water and waste treatment solution company and a member of the Kaduna State chapter. The company was recognized for its multimillion dollar sodium hypochlorite manufacturing project in Kaduna.
A U.S. Export-Import Bank loan guarantee to WATTCCON provides $9.5 million in financing; when the project is fully completed this year, the company will employ more than 50 skilled Nigerians and 150 others indirectly.
Speaking during the meeting with Ambassador Entwistle, Aliyu Maigari Mamman, managing director of WATTCCON, expressed deep appreciation to the ambassador, General Electric (GE), Ex-Im Bank, and Fidelity Bank for collaborating with GE and WATTCCON “on this world-class project.” WATTCCON is dedicated to providing clean water to more than 300 million people within the West Africa region.