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FG lauds Trump over appointment of Nigerian as economic adviser

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
The Federal Government has lauded the President-elect of the United States of America (USA), Mr. Donald Trump for appointing a Nigerian, Mr Bayo Ogunlesi as an economic adviser, saying the decision is a smart move.
Speaking on behalf of the Federal Government, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, said in New York that Ogunlesi is an outstanding professional who has accomplished alot.
“He (Trump) is very wise to have appointed Bayo because Bayo is really an outstanding person professionally and really, I think in many ways.
“It is almost paradoxical that we in the country will certainly need people with the caliber of Bayo Ogunlesi and that it should be the U.S. rather, that is now going to be benefiting from his amazing talents. But I think the U.S. can only benefit from somebody of Bayo’s talent,” he said.
Notwithstanding the misgivings of some people about the policies of Trump’s administration concerning Africa and Nigeria in particular, Onyeama hoped that Nigeria would have a cordial diplomatic relations with Trump’s administrations.
“We are looking also optimistically to working with the new U.S. (President-elect Donald Trump’s) administration.
“We hope that we would be able to find common course. At the moment, we have very good relations, this particular (President Barack Obama’s) administration has been extremely supportive of Nigerian’s polcies.
“And we would like to build on that with the incoming administration,” he said.
The minister also expressed the hope that with the presence of Ogunlesi in Trump’s team, he could be able to bring positive policies about Nigeria and Africa to bear on Trump’s administration.
“And who knows, maybe the presence of Bayo in the team in the U.S. might hopefully be able to bring to the administration positive perspectives with regards to Nigeria,” he said.
Trump recently announced Nigerian-born U.S.-based Ogunlesi as a member of his Strategic and Policy Forum, charged with advising the president on economic matters.
The 63-year-old Nigerian, who is the chairman of Global Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm and one of Fortune 500 companies, is the only African face in the 16-man team.

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