S/Leone High Commission in Nigeria Celebrates 49th Independence in Grand Style
Sierra Leoneans from all walks of life in the Federal Republic of Nigeria have celebrated their Countryâ€™s 49th independence Anniversary in grand style.Â (Photo: Heads of Diplomatic Missions viewing achievements of President Koroma on a multi-media display)
The celebration which took place at the Reiz Continental Hotel in Central Abuja, not only attracted Sierra Leoneans working in different bilateral and multilateral agencies in Nigeria, but also attracted Senior Nigerian Government Ministers, officials of the Nigerian Government and very senior serving Nigerian Military officers who either served in Sierra Leone under the banner of West African Peace keepers/United Nations, members of the Diplomatic Corps and a cross section of the business community in Nigeria were also in attendance.
The Continental Hall of the Reiz Continental Hotel was divided into three sections including a Sierra Leonean corner showcasing Sierra Leonean products (female dress â€“ print, Ronko, drum-bata and other Sierra Leonean food (peppermint, coconut cake, groundnut cake, etc.,) imported from Sierra Leone, a multiâ€“media section practically displaying the achievements of President Ernest Bai Koroma since his assumption of office, and the Sierra Leonean food corner, where local cuisine including cassava leaves, potato leaves, ground nut soup, etc., were not only on display, but were also available for eating purpose.
The occasion did not only see the reunification of many Sierra Leoneans after long years, but metamorphosed in to a medium for some government officials and some of the newly appointed Government Ministers to interact.
In his welcome address, Sierra Leoneâ€™s High Commissioner to the Federal Republic of Nigeria H. E. Henry O. Macauley, recalled the history of Sierra Leone since her naming (Serra Lyoa), and conveyed to the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Koromaâ€™s ardent desire for the continuation and strengthening of the existing bilateral ties between the two countries.
On the historical relationship between Nigeria and Sierra Leone, H.E Henry O. Macauley, traced it to the abolition of the Slave Trade, which resultant effect saw the movement of people to, and from Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria for various reasons including administration, education, politics and economics.
â€œThe returnees (Saros) who chose to return to Nigeria for cultural, missionary and economic reasons resided in the Niger Delta, Lagos and in some Eastern Nigerian cities such as Aba, Owerri, and Onitsha. â€œHistorical connections also exist with the Aworis, the Ijebus, the Ijaws, the Binis, the Egbas, and the Oyos, with whom much social and business affiliation occurred.
â€œIn Lagos, the Saros chose Ebute â€“ Meta, and Yaba as primary settlements and emerged as a dominant commercial group in Lagos.Â They travelled well into the interior, pioneering trade, and business. With western education, the Saros dominated the ranks in professions and became lawyers, doctors, and civil servants, serving in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abeokuta.
Consequently, we became one people separated by many geographical boundaries, but consistently bonded by history, culture and spirit, a proud archetype of which I, Henry Olufumi Macauley, am.â€
Apart from being members of the Commonwealth, ECOWAS, the United Nations etc, Diplomatic relations between Nigeria and Sierra Leone is over half a century year old.Â Â
Today, President Ernest Bai Koroma has raised quantity and productivity in agriculture, fisheries, developed a national transportation network and ensuring sustainable human development
Sierra Leone is now a place of real potential on the African continent and is being used as an example and a model of a seriously progressive post-conflict country, becoming very attractive to investment and investors, with a new and vibrant Investment Code, Bankruptcy Laws and Investor Protection Laws being swiftly passed by Parliament and vigorously implemented by Government.
Fivefold increase in FDI (foreign direct investment), rapid reduction in corruption with all public servants declaring their assets and zero tolerance being applied and complied with, recognition as one of the top 10 tourism destinations of the Lonely Planet Advisory with over 200km of white sand beaches, recognitionÂ by the World Bankâ€™s â€˜Doing Business 2010 Reportâ€™ as one of Africaâ€™s best reformers, with an Investment Protection Policy second only to South Africa in sub-Saharan Africa, rapid upward movement in the World Bankâ€™sÂ assessments, and in the Mo Ibrahim index for good governance, and widespread fame for its tough anti-corruption laws, praise for itsÂ exemplary macroeconomic management that has led to increasing economic stability (growth rate of 5.5% in 2009), and endorsement by George Soros as being ready for business, amongst other gratifying results.
Reacting, Nigeriaâ€™s Foreign Affairâ€™s Minister Hon. Mr H. Odein Ajumogobia, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), congratulated High Commissioner Macauley for Sierra Leoneâ€™s 49th Independence anniversary, and said him and his deputy had thought of going round to members of the diplomatic corps, but this occasion has made it possible to see and meet with nearly all the heads of missions in Abuja.
He said Nigeria believe in bilateral and multilateral ties. As a democratic country, the Foreign Minister said Nigeria will continue to work in partnership with other countries for the sake of development, progress and peace.Pasco Gerald Temple, Information AttachÃ©, Sierra Leone High Commission, Abuja, Nigeria
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