Education Minister harps on deepened bilateral ties with China

Umahi legacy


By Rosemary Ogbonnaya

Federal Government has called on China to make concerted efforts towards deepening its bilateral ties with Nigeria.

Minister of State for Education, Rt. Hon. Goodluck Nanah Opiah made this call when he received the Cultural Counselor of the Embassy of China, Mr. Li Xuda, who was on a courtesy call to the Ministry of Education.

While appreciating China for her working bilateral ties with Nigeria, the Minister called on the country to intensify efforts towards deepening her bilateral ties with Nigeria, such as in the areas of building capacity for educational policies, planning and research through effective utilisation of financial and statistical information.

He said Nigerians would like to see “exchange of scientific publications, information and teaching materials between our two countries.

“We expect to see concerted efforts in the area of collaboration on access to information on research findings as well as administrative structural systems of universities and colleges of technology in China. We want to also have the sharing of experiences on the development of innovation enterprise institutions at the tertiary and secondary levels for professional skills training for Nigerian youths, as a strategy for curbing unemployment and reducing insecurity in Nigeria,” he said.

The Minister also called on China to quickly take action on the framework submitted to her on linkage programmes between the two countries.

“Not long ago, Nigeria and China signed cultural and educational exchange agreement. Some of the content of the agreement include: development programmes, technical, vocational and trading activities, award of scholarships to students of both countries, establishment of Chinese Language Centre in Nigeria, and many other areas of cooperation. I am happy to say that the bilateral agreement on culture and education is working.

“Recently, following the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari on the establishment of linkages between Nigerian and Chinese universities, a ministerial committee was set up, coordinated by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to draw up a framework of cooperation between universities in Nigeria and China. That framework has been developed and we are anxiously awaiting China’s action on the document through our diplomatic channels.

“The Chinese private sector has indicated interest in various sectors of Nigeria, and urged them to do more in this regard”, said the Minister.

Speaking earlier, Mr. Li Xuda who led his team on the courtesy call also appreciated the robust bilateral relationship between Nigeria and China and called for stronger ties between the two countries.

He assured that he will facilitate the resumption of academic activities for Nigerian post graduate students who got scholarships to study in China in 2020 and 2021 but were not able to travel for their studies as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.