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NEWS : Local News  

Nigeria Boosts Sierra Leone with another US$7,000,000
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Oct 13, 2009, 12:02
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The Nigerian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Godson O. Echegile, Minister of Health and Sanitation, Sheku Tejan Koroma and personnel of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Sunday October 11th 2009, converged at the Lungi International Airport to receive the first batch of Nigerian professionals to boost the countrys health and educational sectors in a programme that is estimated to cost Nigerians a total of US$7,000,000 (Seven Million United States Dollars).

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ambassador Bangudu Hirse on September 10, 2009 signed a bilateral agreement with the government of Sierra Leone for the second phase of the Technical Aid Corp programme.

It is estimated that a total of US$ 7 million dollars is designated by the Nigerian government for the operation of 132 highly qualified professionals in Sierra Leone as requested by President Ernest Bai Koroma.

Some members of the newly arrived Technical Aid Corp (TAC)

In his welcome address, Chief Godson O. Echegile said Nigeria has a long standing relationship with the people of Sierra Leone and that the team was in the country to support national development, adding that the experts would serve health and educational institutions across the country.

These professionals are fully employed in Nigeria. We have been on this assistance for the past years to contribute to national development. The Nigerian government has put aside $7 million to facilitate this process. Currently we have the first set of 42 personnel, we are trying to put strategies in place for the rest to be here as soon as possible, he said, adding that the Technical Aid Corp (TAC) agreement between Sierra Leone and Nigeria was significant in that it would strengthen the bilateral relationship that has existed between the two countries for the past decades.

The High Commissioner assured members of the team of a friendly relationship with the people of Sierra Leone as the two countries almost shared common interest.

Minister Sheku Tejan Koroma said he was delighted to have received such a gesture from the government of Nigeria.

He said the two countries were very close in the West African Sub-region adding that constant visitation would be made to their respective posting areas so that they have frank discussions.

A nurse, Mary Shekarau, said she had been was seriously contemplating whether to come to Sierra Leone because of various information about the country inside Nigeria but she assured of how happy she was now to be in the country to work and save the lives of pregnant women and their children.

When I was informed about my coming to Sierra Leone, I was afraid considering the decade-long civil conflict the country went through. However, I am happy to be here, she said.

Brigen Bukar, a teacher, was concerned about the level of education and the collaborative role by educational stakeholders. He said in any country the Ministry of Education should work with the teachers and heads of schools closely so that they can understand their constraints.

We want to do our best so that at the end of the two-year sting, the country will get a positive result, he concluded.


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