Nigeria is a country with "more promise, more opportunity, more potential" than anywhere else in the world, the Archbishop of Canterbury said today.
Justin Welby was speaking during a meeting with the President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari at Lambeth Palace, London.
Buhari has been in London for Prime Minister David Cameron's anti-corruption summit this week.
The Archbishop's words stood in sharp contrast to Cameron's own comments to the Queen, when he described Nigeria as "one of the most corrupt countries in the world", along with Afghanistan.
Welby, who was with him at the time, immediately corrected him, pointing out that Buhari is "not corrupt".
Buhari was applauded by Lambeth Palace staff as he entered for the hour-long private meeting with the Archbishop.
Welby said afterwards it was "a great honour" to welcome the leader of the largest country in Africa with "the very large Anglican Church in Nigeria."
He continued: "I think it would be fair to say that it is a rare day at this place when we do not pray for Nigeria. We pray for Nigeria, for you personally, for all those, both in government and in opposition, in Nigeria, for the poor in Nigeria and for those who have suffered over the last number of years from the violence that has plagued your country, which you have been tackling so determinedly since you first took office.
"Nigeria is a country which has more promise, more opportunity, more potential than anywhere else that I know in many continents, not just in Africa. Its people are so intelligent, so full of energy, so full of commitment, that when Nigerians work together, the world – not just Africa – is affected by that beneficially. And so we pray for the potential and future of this land, to be a place that has a profound effect for good on our world, and demonstrates what is possible to be achieved."