Her visit to Nigeria came as President Goodluck Jonathan is under growing pressure to stop the violence in the northern and central regions of the country.
Clinton said after meeting Jonathan, key ministers and security chiefs on the latest stop of her African tour that “we really believe that the future for Nigeria is limitless.
“But the most important task that you face, as you have said, is making sure that there are better opportunities for all Nigerians — north, south, east, west,” she said.
US diplomats have repeatedly spoken of the deep poverty in Nigeria’s north that many say has fed the insurgency.
“We want to work with you and we will be by your side as you make the reforms and take the tough decisions that are necessary,” Clinton added.
She mentioned efforts to improve transparency and limit corruption in a country consistently ranked as one of the world’s most graft-ridden. She also spoke of US help in improving agriculture — a key concern for Nigeria’s north.
She said, “We appreciate that you know how committed United States and the Obama Administration is to our partnership with your country. We consider it absolutely vital to our bi National commission which as you have mentioned has helped us to expand and deepen our cooperation on full range of issues.
“We are working on economic matters, the improvement of productivity in agriculture, education and health, security, diversification of your economy and so much more. We intend to remain very supportive on your reform efforts.
“Thank you for mentioning the work we did together on the election. We were also very supportive of anti corruption reform efforts, more transparency in the work that you and your team are also championing because we really believe that the future for Nigeria is limitless but the most important task that you face, as you have said, is making sure that there are better opportunities for all Nigerians, South, East, West, every young boy and girl to have chance to fulfil his God given potential”.
Earlier, President Jonathan had thanked Clinton for raising the relationship between Nigeria and America to a very high level that had never been reached for quite some time before she became Secretary of State.
Noting that Clinton had been very very supportive by personally chairing the Bi-national commission in which various issues bordering on security and the economy were discussed, Jonathan said President Barack Obama’s administration had been quite passionate about Africa and Nigeria in particular.
He said, “He (Obama) has always been very supportive of us for the past five years. From the days I came in as Vice President, especially that period which as a nation we faced a lot of challenge when the late President was very ill and we passed through turbulence period.
And the support he gave us is one of the support that stabilised this country. And when we insisted we must conduct an election that is free and fair and that is the only way we can stabilise democracy, they were very supportive.
“They gave us moral support, technical support to INEC and assisted us to make sure that we conducted elections that national and international observers declared as quite free and fair.
So let me on behalf of government and good people of Nigeria really thank you and President Obama and the good people of America for this your help for Nigeria and Africa and all what you are doing to make sure that this part of the globe develops”.
Clinton held a meeting with all the security chiefs in the country who were at the presidential villa an hour before she arrived. She also held a meeting with some group of ministers led by Finance Minister and coordinating minister for the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala before leaving for the Abuja airport at about 6:10pm to proceed to Ghana for Late President John Atta Mills’ burial.