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The United States established diplomatic relations with Nigeria in 1960, following Nigeria’s independence from the United Kingdom. From 1966-1999 Nigeria experienced a series of military coups, excluding the short-lived second republic between 1979-1983. Following the 1999 inauguration of a civilian president, the U.S.-Nigerian relationship began to improve, as did cooperation on foreign policy goals such as regional peacekeeping.
The United States seeks to help improve the economic stability, security, and well-being of Nigerians by strengthening democratic institutions, improving governance, transparency and accountability, promoting human rights, encouraging two-way trade and investment, and professionalizing security forces. U.S. assistance also aims to build institutional capacity in the provision of health and education services; and support improvements in agricultural productivity and the delivery of reliable and affordable energy.
Nigeria and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Nigeria also is an observer to the Organization of American States.