Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President George Weah of Liberia has said his country needs the services of 6, 000 Nigerian teachers.
Weah, who spoke during a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, yesterday, admitted that his country’s economy is dwindling but will need Nigeria’s private sector to remain afloat.
He also appealed to Nigerian banks thinking of closing shop in Liberia because of the dwindling economy, not to do so as his administration has plans to revamp the economy that will benefit investors in the country.
The former World Footballer of the Year, who was sworn in as president, last January, blamed much of the economic crisis in the country on falling prices of major exports and unfavourable foreign exchange rate.
“Your sustained technical assistance for capacity building in these sectors is most welcome. For example, Nigerian teachers and medical volunteers to Liberia, under the Technical Aid Corps (TAC) Agreement with Liberia, have been very crucial in boosting capacity development in Liberia, and it is my hope that this assistance can be considerably increased to address with urgency our most pressing socio-economic needs at this time.
“More specifically, under the Bilateral Teacher Exchange program, we are seeking 6,000-plus teachers to make up for the shortage of good teachers in our educational system.
“In agriculture, we are seeking experts and extension workers to build capacity in the sector, particularly with crops, (such as cassava, for example,) which lend themselves readily to value- added propositions and export earning potential”, he said.
Weah thanked Nigeria for restoring peace to Liberia and helping reform Liberian military after the country’s civil war.
He was equally appreciative that “although yours is the largest economy in Africa, with the most powerful army in our sub-region, you have never used your wealth and military prowess to expand your territory, threaten your neighbors, or de-stabilize any sovereign nation in the region.
“The prices of our two basic export commodities, rubber and iron ore, continue to fall on the world diminished market our foreign exchange earnings from the export of these and other commodities are used mainly on the importation of food and other commodities, causing massive trade deficits; youth unemployment is at an all-time high, and prices of basic commodities continue to increase…”