Ambassador Chigozie F. Obi-Nnadozie, Nigeria's new Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, held her first bilateral talks with Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan where they both spoke of the two traditional countries' strong diplomatic relations.
Ambassador Obi-Nnadozie has replaced former Nigerian Ambassador Ebenezer Adigun is the first female Nigerian Envoy to be accredited here since Abuja (Lagos) and Monrovia established diplomatic ties over five decades ago. Foreign Minister Ngafuan said relations between both countries have been strong even before Nigeria's independence in the 1960's.
Acknowledging Nigeria's meaningful contributions to Liberia, Minister Ngafuan said: "Particularly, we are grateful for the sacrifices made by Nigeria and Nigerians for the peace and stability of this nation. Every inch of this nation has evidence of Nigeria's sacrifice."
The Liberian Foreign Minister also applauded Nigeria's contribution to Liberia's new army, the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) whose current Chief of Staff is a Nigerian. He also named the educational system which is blessed with Nigerian instructors and teachers both at the university and secondary school levels, as yet another area of critical support.
Foreign Minister Ngafuan further expressed his gratitude on behalf of the country to the Nigerian Envoy for the presence of major Nigerian investments in the country's economy including critical Nigeria's presence in the banking sector. He said this helps the country's Economic Diplomacy program where youths' unemployment, a major challenge to Liberia, is being reduced.
Minister Ngafuan however expressed concern for disturbing developments back in Nigeria, adding that peace and security in Nigeria also affect the rest of the sub region. Minister Ngafuan also expressed concern about the regional security challenges in Mali and Guinea Bissau. He re-emphasized the need for Western powers to come out clearly with a position in solving those problems.
Minister Ngafuan assured the Nigerian Ambassador of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's desire to receive the Nigerian Envoy's letter of credence presentation. For her part, Ambassador Obi-Nnadozie reintegrated that the bond that binds Nigeria and Liberia are so strong that it cannot be taken lightly.
"I intend to vigorously pursue economic and political ties. Citizen Diplomacy is also a primary importance of my tenure and I will do my very best to ensure that the ties remain intact", the Nigerian Envoy added. Ambassador Obi-Nnadozie promised to encourage more Nigerians outside the country operating legitimate businesses to extend their investments interest in Liberia.