The President of the Republic of Liberia, Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has assured Nigerians, international communities and investors that her country is completely free of the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease.
She also said that Liberia has deepened its bilateral relations with Nigeria at an opportune time when Nigeria is rated the largest African economy following a rebasing exercise of the size and structure of its economy in 2014.
Sirleaf gave this assurance yesterday through the speech delivered by the Ambassador of Liberia to Nigeria, Dr. Al-Hassan Conteh, during the country’s 168th Independence Anniversary ,at the Embassy in Abuja.
She said that the Ebola scourge, which reversed the gains recorded under her government after the Civil War with a GDP of about US$1.2 billion growing at 9.5% and real GDP per capita at US$656.4, has now been tamed.
According to her, the dwindling Ebola cases was followed by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) declaration of Liberia as Ebola on May 9, 2015.
” I wish to assure the government and people of Nigeria and the international community not to panic about the few, isolated cases of Ebola resurgence in Liberia in June, 2015. The Government of Liberia now has the experience to control the spread of Ebola. Its effective Incidence Management System (IMS) has brought the situation under control. The four remaining cases recovered and have been released. Liberia now has no confirmed case of Ebola”, she declared.
President Sirleaf disclosed that Liberia is now embarking on a post-Ebola development strategy with national priorities of rebuilding the health system, infrastructure, economic development and reconciliation to reverse the negative trend in falling economic growth, to renew the country’s momentum of sustainable development that would enable the country to attain middle income status by 2030 (Vision 2030). This strategy is called the Agenda for Transformation (AfT).
Under this plan, she said, the government will continue to build the private sector, by creating an environment for Liberians to receive loans to improve their businesses while those without skills are given opportunities to acquire vocational education to better their lives.
Sirleaf further disclosed that her government will build on its pre-Ebola gains by improving the business climate, making it easier and transparent to do business in Liberia thus attracting more investments in the country.
To ensure that the investments trigger down to the ordinary Liberians to improve their livelihood, the labor laws of Liberia now give preference to Liberians in all sectors.
She said, “Nigeria’s total GDP increased from $262 billion in 2011 to $510 billion in 2014. The manufacturing sector, including flour mills, factories of cement and other essential consumer and industrial products contribute about one-third to the GDP. Liberia’s Vision 2030 and Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020 have similar aspirations in transforming the lives of the citizens of both states. Liberia aspires to be a Middle Income Country by the Year 2030. For its part, Nigeria envisages ten years earlier to be one of the top twenty industrial nations of the World.
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