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Nigeria spent $13bn on liberation of Sierra Leone, Liberia, says envoy

Nigeria spent $13bn on liberation of Sierra Leone, Liberia, says envoy
July 25
19:10 2021

Solomon Gembeh, the high commissioner of Sierra Leone to Nigeria, says Nigeria spent $13 billion in Sierra Leone and Liberia during the civil wars that engulfed the two countries.

From March 23, 1991 to January 18 2002, Sierra Leone was engulfed in a civil war that led to the death of many people, while Liberia was also engulfed in two separate civil wars with the first between 1989 to 1997 and second between 1999 to 2003.

Commending Nigeria for the role played during the war, in an interview with NAN, on Sunday, Gembeh said Nigeria is a “true big brother” for its assistance to Sierra Leone, without demanding for anything in return.

He noted that if the assistance was rendered by the western countries they would have asked for the money in form of concessions and oil rights.

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“Nigeria spent about $13 billion in Sierra Leone and Liberia during the war years, what happened to those monies that you spent on us? You just shook hands with the government and walked away; that is what brothers do,” he said.

“What the west would have done, will be to ask us to pay that money in getting concessions, oil rights and all those kinds of stuff.

“So, when you are talking about the help that the African Development Bank and all these institutions have done for Sierra Leone, you look at what Nigeria has done for us. You look at what the west claimed to have done for Sierra Leone over the years, I think Nigeria is a true big brother to us.”

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The high commissioner noted that Nigeria has continued to render assistance to his country in the area of education to correct the decadence caused by the war in the education sector.

He said the assistance of Nigeria and the focus of the administration of President Julius Bio on education has made the country to gradually revamp its education sector.

“We have a very dynamic, young minister of primary and secondary education in the person of Dr. Moinas, who is a product of MIT in the United States of America, action packed and ready to go,” he added.

“He has been using those funds by putting emphasis on the girl child in particular, making sure that everywhere in the country there was primary education, of course it is free.

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“We provide what we enjoyed when we were in primary school, we enjoyed lunch served, you have free buses to take you to school, you eat there and there are teachers everywhere.

“People are beginning to get computers, trying to get internet services all over the schools. In places that are hard to reach, you make sure that they don’t walk so many miles to go to school.”

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