Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Allie Kabba, yesterday requested Nigeria’s assistance in energy, education and health sectors.
Mr Kabba, who made the call in Abuja when he visited his Nigerian counterpart, Geoffrey Onyeama, also requested Nigeria’s help for his country’s energy sector.
He said that the new government in Sierra Leone was voted on the basis of its manifesto and was committed to providing disciplined leadership.
He explained that the provision of quality education was the flagship of the government’s programme and said the government would not let the people down in delivering its mandate He said: “We will instill discipline in the leadership and make sure that every child in our country has access to quality education. So, that is why education is the centrepiece.
“In fact, it is the flagship programme of our new government and we are working on that.
“I hope that we can count on the support of Nigeria not just in the area of providing classrooms but also providing the teachers.
“Our joint commission over the years stipulates that trained teachers from Nigeria should be sent to help us.”
According to him, the technical assistance will make a big difference as the government moves forward in translating its manifesto into reality.
He said that the administration also takes the health sector very central noting that the country has been trying to rebuild its health infrastructure after its civil war.
“The diagnostic tools are really challenges to us and that is why those who have the means have to come to Nigeria or Ghana
“And, of course they require foreign exchange that is straining on us too and we want to make sure that those diagnostic tools are available locally, ” he said.
He expressed gratitude to Nigeria for sending doctors and nurses to assist in the health sector.
“We are very grateful for that, because that is the area we need more help. So that those who served their two years are replaced quickly so we don’t create a gap in the health delivery system.
“We also need the help of Nigeria in the energy sector,” he added.
In his response, Mr Onyeama pledged Nigeria’s support to the new government, stressing that the present administration had been supportive to the country. The minister said that President Muhammadu Buhari supported the country during the election and also during the tragic mudslide in the country.
He promised Nigeria’s assistance through the Technical Aid Corps.
“We have a joint cooperation of bi-national commission that has been moribund to certain extent and we will certainly cooperate to reinvigorate it.
“So we will get started on that on time and other areas that we have to cooperate.
“We have an extensive Programme, the Technical Aids Corp Programme and Sierra Leone is one of the beneficiaries of that Programme as structured to address more emphasis on the area of priority for your government (NAN)