Nigeria, US Meet Today Over 2015 Elections

Nigeria and the United States will today (Monday) meet to discuss how to further integrate civil society organisations into the electoral process before the 2015 general elections.

The two-day meeting will hold under the Governance, Transparency, and Integrity Working Group of the United States-Nigeria Bi-national Commission.

A statement from the US Embassy in Abuja said the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, would lead the US delegation to the meeting.

The statement read in part, “The Governance, Transparency, and Integrity Working Group will look toward the continued integration of civil society groups into the electoral process prior to the 2015 national elections, which will mark another milestone building upon Nigeria’s last elections.

“One aim of the BNC is to support the establishment of benchmarks for transparent and inclusive elections.”

The US described corruption as a potential impediment to effective governance and economic development in Nigeria.

The statement added, “Through the BNC, we aim jointly to improve Nigeria’s capacity to fight corruption.

“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 US-Nigeria Binational Commission was inaugurated on April 6, 2010 in Washington, DC by a former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Yayale Ahmed.

According to the statement, 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,” the statement added.

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