PRESIDENT George Weah of Liberia on Monday said his country requires a minimum of 6,000 teachers from Nigeria.
Weah said this when he spoke with State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said he was in Nigeria to show gratitude and respect for the roles that Buhari and Nigerians had played in maintaining peace and stability in the West African sub-region, particularly Liberia.
He said Liberia needed Nigeria’s support to jump-start its economy.
He said: “The prices of our two basic export commodities, rubber and iron ore, continue to fall on the world diminished market.
“Our foreign exchange earnings from the export of these and other commodities are used mainly on the importation of food and other commodities, causing massive trade deficits.
“Youth unemployment is at an all-time high, and prices of basic commodities continue to increase.
“Our people have voted for change and for hope.
“And change is finally here.
“But mere political change is meaningless without development, prosperity and growth.
“We need Nigeria’s help to jump-start our economy.
“You played a major role in bringing peace to Liberia, you reformed our Army and today it is performing its duties to the highest professional standards.
“As we speak, they are serving in a peace-keeping mission in Mali.
“You have also built and expanded the capacities of Liberians in so many ways.”
Weah said his administration’s Pro-Poor Development Agenda was intended to tackle the many economic and social problems that his government inherited.
He said the tasks before him were to address the large fiscal and infrastructure deficits, youth unemployment, and reviving the education, agriculture, mining and health sectors.
He noted that Nigerian teachers and medical volunteers to Liberia, under the Technical Assistance Corps Agreement with Liberia, had been crucial in boosting human capacity development in Liberia.
Weah expressed the hope that the assistance could be considerably increased to address his country’s most pressing socio-economic needs at this time.
He said: “More specifically, under the Bilateral Teacher Exchange Programme, we are seeking 6,000 plus teachers to make up for the shortage of good teachers in our educational system.
“In agriculture, we are seeking experts and extension workers to build capacity in the sector, particularly with crops (such as cassava, for example), which lend themselves readily to value-added propositions and export earning potential.”
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