Perhaps for its relative safety in the face of the intractable insecurity in the country, for the past six years the United States of America has sunk over $122 million in the development of the health sector in Sokoto state through its Agency for International Development (USAID).
Endeared to this gesture and others similar to it, the State Government has expressed its willingness to expand the scope of its engagement with the US embassy, US agencies and the US government into future.
These were the takes of Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto and the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth-Leonard, when the latter visited the former at Government House, Sokoto on Tuesday.
According to Amb. Beth-Leonard, who gave the figure of US investment in the state’s health sector since 2015, and stated her mission as wanting “to understand some important nuances…, see many of the US government programs that we support in Sokoto,” the US government, which already has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state, “hopes to expand to more general health sector.”
She added that apart from her government’s support for many projects and its partnership with the Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, towards sustaining the ‘American Corner’ for more understanding and social cultural exchange, the US is proud to support general educational development; and, is hoping to work together with the state on how to tackle insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his response, Gov. Tambuwal stated that his administration is ready to “…deepen existing and cordial relationship” between the people of Sokoto, the US embassy and the United States of America.”
“As you have said, we have been benefitting immensely from the support of US government through very many partnerships- USAID; so many other relationships like Targeted States High Impact Project (TSHIP), the Northern Education Initiative (NEI +), Response to Interventions (Education) (RTI), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and several other interventions which are aimed at supporting us in promoting and sustaining quality education and policies in the state; addressing and curtailing the worrisome health indices in the state; and also in the area of agriculture,” he emphasized
He also added that the state is “looking forward to further and deeper collaborations with US government agencies in Nigeria, especially in human capital development, in particular interest, going forward to us, in girl-child education and empowerment of our women.