Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The Liberian Government, yesterday, honoured President Muhammadu Buhari with the country’s highest award, the “Most Venerable Order of the Knighthood of the Pioneers of the Republic of Liberia with Grade of the Knight Grand Cordon.”
Presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, said Buhari was given the award in Monrovia at the 172nd independence anniversary of the West African nation, adding that he accepted the award on behalf of all Nigerians and as a tribute to all Nigerian men who paid the supreme price in aiding Liberia’s unity and stability.
Shehu said the president thanked the people of Liberia for the award and expressed his resolve to continue to strengthen cooperation within the West African sub-region, quoting him as saying “this gesture can only strengthen my resolve to rededicate myself to the service of my country, work for the prosperity of our people in the sub-region.”
The statement said Buhari, in a goodwill message to the government and people of Liberia, promised to dispatch to Liberia 50 Nigerian citizens as members of Technical Aid Corps to assist in rebuilding the country.
The president said the Economic and Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) launched by his administration in 2017 has been creating an enabling environment for growth, security and economic revival.
Buhari said his administration had realised the futility of continuously subjecting the Nigerian economy to the vagaries of its mono-product dependence and had instituted policies aimed at diversifying the national economy which he said were already yielding positive results.
“Our government had to adopt appropriate measures including diversification and reforms to address such underlying causes exemplified by our continued dependence on a single-commodity, crude oil, lack of fiscal buffers, leakages, corruption and high governance costs.
“Furthermore, in our efforts to stimulate the economy, our government initiated bold policy interventions that are beginning to yield positive results,” he said.
He also said the president encouraged his Liberian counterpart to take decisive actions to further stimulate the economy of the country, saying, “Mr. President, Liberia under your leadership may wish to learn from our experience by taking courageous steps to diversify its economic base by developing the productive sector that would complement earnings from rubber, iron ore and the increasingly dwindling funds from development partners.
“In this regard, the need for proper management of human resources and investment in agriculture, solid minerals and other sectors such as tourism where the country has comparative advantage, cannot be overstated.”
The president returned to the country yesterday.