Wally Adeyemo, the United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, has concluded a week-long visit to Nigeria aimed at bolstering a new bilateral relationship between the United States and Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy.
During his visit, Adeyemo engaged with various stakeholders in Nigeria’s thriving tech ecosystem, including startup founders and members of the tech media. The meetings took place at Vibranium Valley, a co-working space and incubator for startups in Lagos with backing from the American government.
Addressing the press after a closed-door meeting with local investors and founders, Adeyemo emphasized the importance of partnering with Nigeria to provide opportunities for its talented workforce to contribute to the growth of a robust Nigerian economy. Born to Nigerian immigrants in the United States, Adeyemo has a personal connection to the country.
Although Adeyemo did not make specific promises during his engagements, he assured the Nigerian public of his commitment to address the challenges they face when interacting with the United States and its financial institutions.
Chief among these challenges is the difficulty many startups encounter when trying to open bank accounts with American banks or engage with U.S. financial institutions fairly, which has hindered their access to investments from Silicon Valley-type investors and impeded potentially transformative innovations.
“My view is that American investors and companies want to be partners in this endeavor. We want to ensure that as the United States, we are collaborating to remove these barriers. Nigerian investors should have the ability to access the U.S. market, and American investors should be able to access the Nigerian market.”
He emphasized his intent to address this issue upon returning to the United States.
Wally Adeyemo Commends Bola Tinubu’s Leadership
During his visit, Adeyemo also commended the administration led by Bola Tinubu, which marked its first 100 days in office. He noted the government’s efforts to revitalize the economy and lift Nigerians out of poverty, contrasting it with the previous administration’s policies that led to economic challenges.
Tinubu’s administration has forged partnerships with companies like American tech giant Oracle and secured a $14 billion investment pledge from the Indian government. Additionally, Jitender Sachdeva, the founding President of India’s SkipperSeil Limited, announced a $1.6 billion investment to establish power generation plants in northern Nigeria, adding 2,000MW of power within four years.
Adeyemo praised these initiatives and expressed optimism about working with Nigeria to overcome funding barriers for entrepreneurs. He emphasized that entrepreneurs in Nigeria have the potential to utilize funding to build innovative companies that benefit both the Nigerian and American economies.
Wally Adeyemo’s visit to Nigeria signifies the commitment of the United States to strengthen bilateral ties and support the Nigerian tech ecosystem, with a focus on removing barriers to innovation and fostering economic growth in both nations.
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