The United States, US, government has disclosed that it is no longer a major importer of crude oil from Nigeria, explaining that the commencement of the production of Shale oil and gas in the last ten years has changed the American economy such that it’s no longer a major importer of oil especially from Nigeria.
The country’s Deputy Assistant Secretary, West Africa and Economic and Regional Affairs, Peter Barlerin, made this known in Abuja yesterday, stating that Nigeria is one of the most important countries for the U.S in sub-Saharan Africa.
Acknowledging that Nigeria has the largest population on the continent and the second largest economy, he stated that the U.S was considering increasing Direct Investment in Nigeria.
“It (the commencement of Shale oil and gas production) impacted on the oil export from Nigeria, I think this gives an opportunity to Nigeria to diversify the economic and deep our economic relationship in other ways,” he said.
While noting that the decline in the oil price had significant impact on Nigeria’s economy, just like other countries, Barlerin commended Buhari’s efforts in trying to improve the economic conditions.
He pointed out that ongoing efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in diversifying the Nigerian economy into non-oil export would make the nation’s export more attractive to America and the rest of the world.
According to him, “We believe that such efforts would be helpful for the economy because it will make Nigeria export more attractive to the region, the U.S. and the rest of world.
“It will help Nigerian economy as it would no longer depend on oil as it did in the past.
“A number of sectors in Nigeria are promising; there are lots of promising exports potentials in services industry, in fashion industry, agriculture and other sectors.”
The envoy said that U.S. would try to increase two-way trade and investments with Nigeria with a view to deepening the trade relations between both countries.
“So if we have a high level of trade here, we want to increase both U.S. export to Nigeria and U.S. import from Nigeria, so that we can have two ways trade. Also we think that increasing U.S. direct investment into Nigeria is very important.
“I think the Buhari’s Administration’s efforts to improve easy doing business in Nigeria is very important.
“And we think that openness to U.S. investors into country’s economy will be very important for Nigeria’s economic growth,” he said.