Senator Ita Enang (PDP-Akwa Ibom) on Tuesday advised the Federal Government to use the opportunity of the ongoing summit between President Barack Obama of the US and African leaders to seek for more assistance to fight terrorism.
Enang, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, gave the advice in Abuja in an interview with NAN on what Nigeria could benefit from the summit being held in Washington.
NAN reports that not less than 50 African leaders are attending the summit convened by Obama to deliberate on trade, investment and security in the continent.
Enang also urged the government to use the opportunity to explore investment opportunities in technology from the USA.
On his part, Mr Rafiu Salau, National Secretary of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), said that African leaders should see the summit as an opportunity to boost the socio-economic development of the continent.
“The summit is a testimony that the United States recognises the abundance of resources in Africa which could be utilised for its development and the development of the world,’’ he said.
He urged African leaders to put the interest of the continent first and work harder to eradicate poverty.
Malam Auwal Rafsanjani, the Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), an NGO, advised the leaders attending the summit to pay more attention to issues of security and economy.
He described the summit as “a viable platform’’ that could assist Africans adapt to new strategy, to address security and economic challenges facing the continent.
“When the American Government was planning to organise the summit, it embarked on wide consultations with stakeholders.
“I was one of the people the embassy asked to comment about the whole idea of the summit.
“I think it was a good idea to have the summit but most importantly, African leaders should focus attention on issues of economy, security and how to deepen democracy in the continent,” he said.
Rafsamjani said that considering the current radicalism and increasing rate of terrorist activities in Nigeria and some African countries, efforts should be geared toward finding lasting solution to the security challenges facing Africa.
The activist stressed the need for the U.S. to constructively engage African Leaders on how they could tackle poverty, tropical diseases and corruption on the continent.
He said that corruption had become a major stumbling block to the progress and development of some African countries.
“The security challenge we have in Nigeria today is a product of corruption.
“As the largest trading partner of the U.S. on the continent, it is of international interest that Nigeria consolidates its democracy to improve the quality of life of African people,’’ he said.
Mr Osita Okechukwu, National Publicity Secretary, Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), said that President Goodluck Jonathan and other African countries attending the summit should expect more direct investment from the U.S. at the end of the summit.
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