President Ernest Bai Koroma has said that, Sierra Leone is surviving today only because of the monumental sacrifices made by Nigeria to rescue her from collapse.
The President made the statement while receiving visiting members of Nigeria’s apex policy and research centre, the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPPS, who paid him a courtesy call at the State House on Monday, July 28th.
President Koroma further noted that, the UN, the British and others were able to come and help only after Nigeria had rescued Sierra Leone from the brink of destruction. He added that Nigeria has always fulfilled its role as the leader of the sub-region.
The president admonished the visiting prime scholars to rise to the challenge of peace, good governance and development so that, Nigeria can utilize her aspiration of becoming one of the 20 largest economy in the year 2020.
Led by the Nigerian High Commissioner, Chief Godson O. Echegile, the NIPPS Course 30 members who were on a study tour of Sierra Leone disclosed that they travelled to several places including the provinces to enable them get a first hand information about the country.
Leader of the group, JK Opadiran told the President that the courtesy visit was to chronicle a successful visit while thanking the president, the Government and people of Sierra Leone for the remarkable hospitality accorded the delegation.
Mr. Opadiran gave a brief background of the institute which was established in 1979 to help move Nigeria ‘‘towards a better society’’. He also revealed that, the institute is determined to rise to the challenges of ensuring that Nigeria’s Vision 20-20 is a reality.
Publications of the institute and symbols were presented to the president.
Later in the evening, a reception was held in honour of the delegation at the Hill Station official residence of the High Commissioner.
At the end of the dinner, Foreign Minister Zainab Bangura buttressed President Koroma’s statement by narrating how her own personal life and those of her family were saved by Nigerian troops when Freetown was under siege.
Chief Echegile later thanked the delegation and other guests including Ministers of Finance; David Carew, Defence;Paolo Conteh,Energy and Power;Afsatu Kabia,Labour;Minkailu Mansaray and Agriculture; Dr Sam Sesay among other eminent personalities. The High Commissioner noted that Sierra Leone and Nigeria are inseparable in the desire for peace and development