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Paradox: Trump administration awards $450k to NGOs in Nigeria to support freedom of the press, transparency in government Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 26, 2021


The Trump administration has awarded $453, 568 to 45 individuals, non-government organizations and academic institutions in Nigeria to support a variety of worthwhile projects, including freedom of the press and transparency in government, the Consulate General in Lagos said in a statement to TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C. on Monday. 

The grants, awarded between January this year and now, were also meant to support projects in the areas of human rights, empowerment of women and youth, health, education, entrepreneurship, and the promotion of mutual understanding.

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Speaking at the grant award ceremony in Lagos on Monday, U.S. Consul General F. John Bray recognized the commitment of the grantee organizations working to improve the lives of community members through sustainable projects that bolster good governance, education, and health.

According to him, the Consulate’s grant award program is part of the U.S. government’s efforts to support Nigeria’s economic development, improve livelihoods, and strengthen communities.

 “The U.S. Mission has several objectives here in Nigeria, one of the foremost is to support a healthier, more educated population in Nigeria.  One way in which we work to accomplish these goals is through grants.

“We are so proud to work with such an immensely energetic and creative community of organizations and individuals committed to strengthening communities and empowering fellow Nigerians!” Consul General Bray added.

Every year, the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos invites non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and individuals working in 17 states in southern Nigeria to submit proposals that seek innovative solutions to challenges facing local communities.

In response to the 2018 call for proposals, the U.S. Consulate received approximately 2000 strong and diverse project submissions, and as a result made awards ranging from $ 3,922 up to $80,000, depending on the proposed scope of activities.  

Why it matters: But, but..even as the Trump administration seemed to grandstand in a West African country,  in Washington DC, the White House was indicating that it will again boot out CNN senior reporter Jim Acosta from the White House at the end of the month after he vigorously challenged President Donald Trump during a combative press conference on November 7, a day after his Republican party suffered a string of electoral defeats. 

A court last week ordered the White House to return Acosta’s press credentials immediately after the White House revoked them and accused him of assaulting a young woman, an intern at the White House.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders then shared a doctored video to justify Acosta’s suspension.  

CNN has approached the court again for an emergency hearing in a case being seen as a test for the freedom of the press in the United States.

Also, during an interview aired on Fox News on Sunday, Mr Trump refused to believe his own spy agency over the brutal murder of Jamal khashoggi, the Saudi Arabia national murdered by Saudi Arabian agents in Turkey.

khashoggi who worked for the Washington Post in Washington DC was fighting for transparency and freedom of the press in Saudi Arabia. 

The Trump administration funding the fight for the freedom of the press in Nigeria does not seem to do same in DC and elsewhere. Mr Trump has constantly attacked the press, labeling the media he did not like fake news and the enemies of the American people.

On the transparency in government, the Trump administration is believed to be the most corrupt White House on record with the President employing, like in Africa, his children, in laws and cronies and refusing to separate himself from his businesses .

A report said in just two years, Mr Trump was on the verge of spending more money on personal travels and other avoidable expenses than former President Barack Obama did in eight years. 

His wife, Malania, recently spent almost $200k on one night in a hotel during her recent trip. She did not spend the night.

With all of these scandals, corruption and gargantuan wasteful spending, many would wondering what still gives the Trump administration the courage to lecture the world on transparency, corruption and press freedom. 

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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