US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said Nigeria’s future is “limitless” if the country’s anti-corruption reform efforts continue.
She made the comments after meeting Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.
Nigeria is one of the world’s biggest oil producers, but has been plagued by corruption.
The closed-door talks also focused on the growing insecurity caused by Islamist militants.
Correspondents say there is a link between the stealing of oil money, widespread poverty and the current insecurity.
Nigeria, the US’s fifth largest supplier of oil, has been plagued by allegations that its wealth has been used for corrupt purposes since the oil boom of the 1970s.
Mrs Clinton, who was on the latest leg of her extensive tour of Africa, said the US was very supportive of the Nigerian government’s anti-corruption reform efforts.
“But the most important task that you face, as you have said, is making sure that there are better opportunities for all Nigerians – north, south, east, west – every young boy and girl to have a chance to fulfil his or her God-given potential,” she said at press conference with Mr Jonathan.
The north of Nigeria is where the Islamist Boko Haram group is most active and it is far less developed than the rest of the country.
The militants have stepped up attacks in the past year, targeting the UN headquarters in Abuja, churches and security buildings.
In the US, politicians have been debating to what extent Boko Haram poses a danger to the US.
The BBC’s Will Ross in Lagos says with spiralling violence, the possibility of Nigeria’s oil production being affected cannot be ruled out.