As the nation continues to prepare for the 2015 general election, discussions aimed at establishing benchmarks for a transparent and inclusive poll would top the agenda at the United States-Nigeria Bi-National Commission (BNC) which opens in Abuja today.The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi, would lead the Nigerian delegation, while the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, would lead the US delegation at the February 17 to 18 meeting.
According to a statement issued by the US Embassy in Abuja yesterday, the Governance, Transparency, and Integrity Working Group of the BNC would also discuss the continued integration of the civil society into the electoral process ahead of the next general election in Nigeria. It read in part: “On governance issues, corruption is a potential impediment to effective governance and economic development in Nigeria. Through the BNC, we aim jointly to improve Nigeria’s capacity to fight corruption.
“The commission allows for dialogue and strategic thinking designed to expand mutual cooperation across a broad range of shared interests. It is also a collaborative forum to build partnerships for tangible and measurable progress on issues critical to the United States and Nigeria.“Participation in the commission meeting reflects the commitment of the United States and Nigeria to their strong bilateral relationship. The United States supports the aspirations of the Nigerian people for a peaceful, prosperous, stable, and democratic future.”The BNC was inaugurated in April 2010.
Source: The New Day