By Esther Wright

The Nigerian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Henry Omaku (FEIM) on Thursday 26th August 2021 assured the administration of the Milton Margai Technical University (MMTU) that his Government would provide qualified lecturers to support the college’s new status as a Technical University.

The need for Nigerian professionals in various technical skills like Building Construction, Architecture, Town Planning, Quantity Surveyors and Estate Evaluation among other areas to support the college’s new Technical University status was underscored by the various speakers.

He made the assurance at the High Commission’s Hill Cut Road office in Freetown when the Principal, senior academic and administrative staff paid a courtesy call to appeal to him to revive the Technical Aid Corps (TAC) that sent hundreds of qualified Nigerians to serve in various colleges and institutions in Africa including Sierra Leone but lamented that in spite of all the sacrifices Nigeria is making to African countries, they are not reciprocating.

The Nigerian envoy underscored that nobody would associate with a criminal, revealed that architect Abel Onomake designed the High Commission building, acclaimed the college for associating with the Commission, that education is the best asset to give anybody and commended the vision of the Sierra Leone Government to train its people in technical/vocational skills reiterating that the Commission would support such a noble initiative.

His Excellency Henry Omaku further encouraged the college to officially write to the High Commission about its requirements as well as invite the Federal Minster of Education to witness the official handing over of the certificate for the Technical University status.

He also observed that Sierra Leone is a beautiful country with natural touristic attractions that can generate huge revenue and become the hob for other countries to emulate guaranteeing that the doors of the Commission are always open for further discussions to extend the cordial bilateral relations between the two countries.

Earlier, outlining the purpose of the courtesy call, the Principal of MMTU, Dr. Philip John Kanu congratulated the High Commissioner for his appointment and wished him best of luck, commended him for the warm welcome, intimated that next month President Dr. Julius Maada Bio would present the Technical University certificate to the college, enlightening that the college appreciates architect Abel Onomake for his invaluable and selfless support to the college for which he described him as a patriotic Sierra Leonean.

He continued that Sierra Leone is a beautiful country with high potential for tourism, that Nigerian soldiers sacrificed their lives during the civil war to save Sierra Leoneans for which Nigerian is now our father and not big brother as only a father can take a bullet for his son or daughter and entreated the High Commissioner to convey the college’s thanks and appreciation to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Dr. Kanu also revealed that architect Abel Onomake deigned some of the buildings on the three campuses under construction free of cost, that the MMTU comprises three campus with education at Goderich that trains quality teachers for primary and senior secondary schools, engineering at Congo Cross and the hospitality industry at Brookfields recalling that the college started as a Department at Fourah Bay College then to a polytechnic during which period it was supported by Nigerian lecturers through the TEC.

According to the Principal, Sierra Leone imports most of its needs and reiterated the need for Nigeria professionals in various technical skills like building construction, architecture, town planning, quantity surveyors and estate evaluation among others to support the college’s new University Status.

Highlight of the courtesy call was the introduction of the academic and administrative staff of the MMTU while the vote of thanks was rendered by the Dean of the Faculty of Hotel, Hospitality and Nutritional Sciences, Ms. Aminata Bangura.

The Principal was accompanied by Deans of Faculties, Heads of Campuses and other senior administrative staff.

In another development, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility to the community in which it operates, the Milton Margai Technical University (MMTU) has installed 15 solar street lights estimated at over Le50 million from the Lady Patricia Kabba Secondary School onto the college’s exit gate, a distance of about a mile.

It is the first time in the over 50 years history of the college that street lights have been installed along the road leading to the college.

The 15 solar street lights, accessories and installation cost over Le50 million and according to  Maada Tejan, Dean of the Congo Cross campus, the funds were provided by the Government of Sierra Leone, through President Dr. Julius Maada Bio for which he commended Government for the support.

He revealed that the area where the streets have been installed was dangerous as night as thieves attacked and snatched the bags, mobile phones and other valuables from people but that with the installation of the solar street lights this would be a thing of the past and appealed to the people to protect the lights that is their property.

Maada Tejan also assured that with additional funds, more solar street lights would be installed in other parts of the Goderich community.

Courtesy of Calabash 1 September 2021

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