President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met behind closed doors with Liberian President George Weah at the Presidential Villa, Abuja with the latter seeking 6,000 teachers from Nigeria.
Weah said the request, under the Bilateral Teacher Exchange programme, will make up for the shortage of good teachers in Liberia’s educational system.
The Liberian president, who spoke with State House reporters at the end of meeting with Buhari, said Nigerian businessmen and women were welcome to help develop his country’s economy.
He said: “I hereby declare that Liberia is now open for business to the Nigerian private sector. There is a need to address the current volume of trade between our two countries, which is very low and does not exceed million, by some estimates.
“Yet, the Liberian banking sector is dominated by Nigerian banks, and I am made to understand that their head offices in Nigeria may be considering reducing their support or even shutting them down because of the recent downturn in our economy.
“If this is true, l urge them not to do so, as l am optimistic that trade and commerce will increase in the near future. There are also major shortcomings in the electricity and power sectors, in road construction, in housing, in mining and in fisheries, to name a few, that could be of serious interest to Nigerian investors, either as individuals or companies or through joint-ventures or public-private partnerships.
“We invite all of you to come to Liberia and explore the many new opportunities for investment that are bound to increase under this new political dispensation. I promise you that you will find a government that is not only business friendly, but ready to do business.
“On a personal note, President Buhari, it is my intention, with all due respect and affection, to frequently seek your wise counsel and advice as I embark upon this arduous task of nation-building, reconstruction and transformation of my country.
“Nigeria’s historical benevolence towards Liberia cannot be quantified. And once again, we seek your urgent assistance.”
He thanked Buhari for the invitation extended to him and his delegation.
According to him, the visit was to express gratitude and respect for the extraordinary and exceptional role Buhari and Nigerians played in maintaining peace and stability in the West African sub-region, especially in Liberia.
He said: “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 neighbours, or de-stabilise any sovereign nation in the region.”
Weah added that the prices of Liberia’s two basic export commodities, rubber and iron ore, have continued to fall in the world market.