The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terence McCulley, Saturday in Enugu declared that Nigeria's greatest asset was not the abundant mineral resources especially oil but its diversity, the population as well as the energy and vitality of the people of the country to embrace and conquer great challenges.
Speaking during the opening of the American Corner, Enugu, also known as the John and Lucy Book-café, the US ambassador extolled the commitment and determination of Nigerians not to be cowed by the obvious challenges facing them in the country but to explore ground of sailing through those challenges.
He reaffirmed the commitment of the US government to broaden its relationship with Nigeria in several ways, noting that the establishment of 11 American Corners across various geo-political zones of the country was a significant signal to show US engagement and commitment to the Nigerian people.
"I am very delighted to be here in Enugu, we are very happy to have reopened American Corner in Enugu state in the South-east. It's very important for America to have a venue like this where people can come and learn about the Americans; where there can be exchanges, where students can come and learn how to study in the United States. As I said earlier, Nigeria's greatest asset is its people, diversity, energy, the vitality of Nigerians who are anxious to deepen and broaden their relationship with the United States. Nigeria should know that they have great friend and partner in the United States.
"When people come to this Corner, they can study Nigeria history, it's a place to further mutual understanding between Nigeria and US; its for Americans to come here and learn about Nigeria and for Nigerians to come here and learn about Americans and use that opportunity to exchange views.
"We are very pleased that this Corner is going to serve as a centre of excellence, for educational exchanges, for Nigerians who may want to study in the US, they will come here to learn about the US universities. It's also place where they can come and learn about their own histories.
"We will be glad to open many more American corners based on the available budget we have. It took about a year and half to fix this. We will look to forward to expand as we much as we can.
"We have eleven now, and it's a significant investment and a significant signal to show US engagement and US commitment to Nigeria," Ambassador McCulley noted.
Earlier, the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the JLB, proprietors of the Corner, Dr John Achebe, said the decision to establish the Corner in Enugu was because of the obvious fact that of the initial 10 Corners established in the country, none existed in the South-east, adding that the choice of Ogui New Layout for location of the Corner was as a result of the high population density of the area with many young people who are engaged in various academic activities but may not have library support.
He also said the layout is adjacent to an academic corridor that contains several educational institutions at various levels, adding that the managers of the corner would work closely with the US embassy in the country with a view to making the corner the most vibrant in the country.