By Cecilia Ijuo
The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has lauded efforts by the United States (U.S.) to help Nigeria in the fight against terrorism.
Saraki made this known after meeting with a U.S. Congressional Delegation on Monday in Abuja.
He said the meeting was centred on security, humanitarian crisis in the North East and ways to build a better working relationship between the parliaments of both countries.
“Today’s meeting was held to discuss ways to improve the relationship between the U.S. and Nigeria, securing greater support in the fight against terrorism and for the humanitarian crisis in different parts of the country.
“We also discussed improving agriculture in Nigeria and providing jobs for our people.
“I think the commitment that we have is that they have seen that there is a need to strengthen the institutional relationships between the legislatures of both our countries and that is very key,’’ he said.
On arms purchase from the U.S., Saraki said: “As you are aware, there is a new development that has happened in respect to the procurement of arms by the country.
“For the first time, the U.S. Government has agreed in principle to sell arms to Nigeria to help in our fight against insurgency. Of course, we will look into areas of human rights where there has always been a concern.
“We hope that following this visit, the sale of arms to our armed forces will now become a reality.
“This will represent a new chapter that we are opening, where the U.S. Government will be ready to sell arms to Nigeria and that will help to strengthen efforts of our armed forces in surveillance, intelligence and fight against terrorism.
“The commitment that they have made today is that terrorism is an issue that should not be left to Nigeria alone and if it means that we may need to secure new weapons from other countries, then it is an option that needs to be urgently explored.
“However, we will also continue to play our own role in the area of human rights.”
The president of the senate further said that the U.S. delegation expressed optimism about Nigeria’s future.