Liberia-Nigeria Tighten Bilateral Relations

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Liberia’s Foreign Minister Augustine_web.jpg

Liberia and the Federal Republic of Nigeria have signed agreements meant to benefit both countries.

The agreements include cooperation in education, culture, bilateral trade and training of Liberian Foreign Service officers.

The two countries also entered into a memorandum of understanding on mining and geology.

One of the significant features of the agreements signed is that Nigeria has committed to grant a soon to be agreed number of scholarships to Liberian diplomats to pursue an 18-month Masters in International Relations and Strategic Studies (MISS) program at the University of Lagos.

While pursuing their Masters’ degree, Liberian beneficiaries of the Nigerian scholarships would also take courses at the Nigerian Foreign Service Academy.

Speaking ahead of the signing ceremony, Liberia’s Foreign Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan gave special recognition to experts from both countries that worked behind the scenes to make the signing of the agreements a reality.

Minister Ngafuan said the signing of the Joint agreements is a giant step forward in consolidating Liberia-Nigeria relations.

“We at Foreign Affairs are the diplomats and have done our part by enhancing the relationship; we are now expecting implementation, which means our sector ministries and experts would coordinate more through direct communication and follow up on issues of mutual concern as it relates to the successful implementation of the various agreements.”

He said if the ministries and sectors in both countries forge closer partnerships, it will ensure success while the Foreign Ministry in both countries will continue to nudge their respective ministries and agencies in taking the concrete steps that would ensure the achievement of the objectives laid down in the agreements.

He spoke of the huge investment potential in Liberia and urged the Nigerian private sector to take advantage of what he called “the first mover advantages.”

The Foreign Minister said both countries deliberated on education related matters and accordingly signed an agreement that will further concretize the already good collaboration of the two countries in the sector.

Nigeria agreed to continue the Technical Assistance Cooperation (TAC) Scheme wherein Nigeria regular field teachers render critically needed services in the Liberian school system.

An agreement that will facilitate the training of Liberian Foreign Officers in the Nigerian Foreign Service Academy was also signed during the Joint Commission meeting in Abuja with both countries also agreeing to reinforce the subsisting agreement on the Technical Aid Corps Scheme.

The Session recognized trade as an essential and indispensable component in the deepening and broadening of relations between Nigeria and Liberia, and resolved to facilitate trade and commerce by removing all impediments that militate against free trade including putting in place measures and structures that would enhance commerce and people to people contact.

In order to enhance relations in the Cultural sector and recognize the importance of promoting cultural values in both countries, Nigeria and Liberia signed an Agreement on Cultural Cooperation that will promote cooperation between the public and private cultural institutions in both countries.

Mindful of the enormous opportunities that abound in the mining sectors of both countries and the comparative advantage of Liberia in the sector, both countries agreed to explore ways of making positive intervention in the sector.

Meanwhile, the two countries agreed on further consultations on the MOUs on Immigration, Drugs, Science and Technology, Agriculture and Sustainable Development, Health and Medical Sciences as well as Transport and Civil Aviation.

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