Sierra Leonean High Commissioner in Nigeria, Dr. Solomon Gembeh, has revealed that Nigeria burned over $13 billion on the liberation of his country and Liberia.
The envoy said his country would not forget the big brother role Nigeria played in the wars that took place in both countries.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja, Gembeh said Nigeria’s role outweighed the support it received from Western nations.
He stressed that Nigeria’s help came out of goodwill, with nothing demanded in return, rather than a situation where such assistance was paid through the staking of national assets.
“Nigeria spent about $13 billion in Sierra Leone and Liberia during the war years. What happened to the money that you spent on us? You just shook hands with the government and walked away. That is what brothers do.
“What the West would have done would be to ask us to pay that money in getting concessions: oil rights and all those kinds of stuffs.
“So, when you are talking about the help that the African Development Bank (AfDB) 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,” Gembeh said.
The High Commissioner further said that despite the huge assistance, Nigeria continues to render assistance to his country. However, he noted the favours had experienced some decay along the way.
He stressed that with Nigeria’s assistance and a focus by the current administration of President Julius Bio, education in his country was gradually being revamped.
Gembeh said funds from Nigeria and the AfDB were effectively being utilised in educating its populace, especially the girl-child.
“We have a very dynamic, young Minister of Primary and Secondary Education in the person of Dr. Moinina David Sengeh, who is a product of MIT in the United States of America (U.S.A), action-packed and ready to go.
“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.
“We provide what we enjoyed when we were in primary school: we enjoyed lunch served, you had free buses to take you to school, you ate there and there are teachers everywhere.
“People are beginning to get computers, trying to get Internet services all over the schools, places that are hard to reach, you make sure that they don’t walk so many miles to go to school,” he said.
NEWS/PHOTO SOURCE: Nation | Media Agencies