By Faith Ijeh
Nigerians studying for various degrees and certificates spent nothing less that $501 million across communities in the United States(US) in the 2019/2020 session alone.
The US Government disclosed this in its fact sheets released during the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, on Wednesday.
Blinken also revealed that Nigeria has the highest number of students in the US among African countries, adding that the country is the 11th largest source of international students in the world.
“With Africa’s largest population, democracy, and economy, Nigeria is one of our most important partners on the continent.
“The year 2020 served as an historical benchmark, as Nigerians reflected on the opportunities and challenges the country faces while marking its 60th anniversary of independence and bilateral relations with the United States.
“Nigeria is the largest source of immigrants from Africa to the United States, with more than 500,000 Nigerian-born American citizens and legal residents in the U.S.
“With over 100,000 travelers to the United States each year, Nigerians boost American businesses, colleges, and universities. There are over 8,800 education and exchange programme alumni from Nigeria and the United States.
“Nigeria sends more students to American colleges and universities than any other country in Africa and is the eleventh largest source worldwide of international students to the United States. In Academic Year 2019-2020, a record-breaking number of nearly 14,000 Nigerians pursued U.S. graduate and undergraduate degrees, bringing an estimated $501 million to communities across America. In 2020, advisees of EducationUSA services received scholarships worth $28 million.
“The United States provided more than 9 million teacher’s guides and books in five of Nigeria’s most widely spoken languages to advance early grade reading,” the fact sheet said.
On trade, it said: “Nigeria is our second largest trading partner in Africa; two-way trade between our nations expanded to over $10 billion in 2019. The United States is proud to be one of the largest foreign investors in Nigeria. Support for economic growth includes funding $8.5 million in feasibility studies and technical assistance in 2020-2021, extending loan guarantees worth up to $80 million, and coordinating development finance in important sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, renewable energy, and information and communication technology. These activities support bilateral trade and investment ties while building more modern and sustainable infrastructure across Nigeria.”