Lagos – The US will build a $537 million consulate in the Nigerian megacity Lagos, the country’s commercial capital, as Washington strengthens economic and diplomatic relations with Africa’s most populous country.
The US is among the largest foreign investors and donors in Nigeria with annual trade between the two countries worth more than $10 billion, according to the State Department.
US ambassador to Nigeria Mary Leonard said the new consulate, to be built on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean, would take five years to complete.
Like most countries, the US has an embassy in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, and a consulate office in Lagos, a sprawling city of more than 20 million people and Nigeria’s major economic hub.
Meanwhile, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could impact relations between the US and Africa as global economic and military powers compete for influence on the continent, the Exchange reports.
Pulling Africa into the West’s war with Russia
But, many African countries are staying neutral on the conflict which is not sitting well with the West.
Indeed, on March 18, 2022, the US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said African countries could not remain neutral in the Ukraine conflict.
She said when the UN General Assembly voted to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in early March, 17 African countries abstained while another eight did not vote at all.