Nigerian Envoy Pays Courtesy Call on Vice President

Wednesday, 14th January 2009
Monrovia, Liberia - Liberia’s Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has paid tribute to Nigeria for standing by Liberia during its civil conflict.
He called attention to the pivotal role Nigeria played in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), and now the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), noting that it would have been difficult for Liberia to attain the peace it now enjoys without Nigeria’s intervention and support.
Vice President Boakai made the tribute Wednesday when the Nigerian Ambassador to Liberia, His Excellency Ebenezer A. Adigun, accompanied by Mr. Abdullahi J. Aliyu, Senior Economic Counselor at the Nigerian Embassy, paid a courtesy call on him at his Capitol Building office.
“I want to see this as a year of increased cooperation between Liberian and Nigeria,” Vice President Boakai told the Nigerian envoy, saying that he hoped Nigerian businessmen would take advantage of the vast investment opportunities in Liberia now that the country enjoys peace and security.
The Liberian Vice President said ECOWAS was looking forward to the leadership of Nigerian President Umaru Yar ‘Adua, who was recently elected the new Chairman of that sub-regional grouping.
Vice President Boakai expressed optimism that President Yar ‘Adua, whom he described as a “nice, peaceful and calm” person, would help bring about unity to the sub-region.
Earlier in remarks, the Nigerian envoy said he hoped a planned Joint Commission, which aims to take relations between Liberia and Nigeria to a new level, would be held in the first quarter of this year. He described the Joint Commission as an economic forum where mutually beneficial areas of cooperation can be fashioned between Liberia and Nigeria.
He lamented that the Economic, Trade and Scientific Cooperation Agreement entered into by Liberia and Nigeria in January 1987 was dormant due to the protracted civil conflict in Liberia. The Nigerian Ambassador said Nigerian doctors and science teachers requested by the Liberian Government could not be deployed in Liberia at the end of last year as planned due to budgetary constraints. He said the medical doctors will now be deployed in May this year under the Nigeria Technical Aid Corps. The Nigerian envoy expressed hope that the Liberian Government would work out modalities like signing the Ggreement and registering medical doctors identified for practice in Liberia.
Ambassador Adigun pledged his country’s commitment to further help build the capacity of the Liberian police, and disclosed that a team of Nigerian police would shortly arrive in Liberia to help train officers of the Liberian National Police (LNP). He further called for trade and cultural cooperation between Liberia and Nigeria.