The Chinese government on Thursday offered 47 students of the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria scholarship awards.
The scholarship is tagged: “October 1 Scholarship for China-Nigeria Friendship.”
Presenting the scholarships at the ABU main campus, Samaru, Zaria, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Zhou Pingjian, appreciated the contributions of ABU to the development of education not only in Nigeria but Africa and the world at large.
He said the award of 47 scholarships coincides with the year for the 47th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.
“It is my great honour to award the Scholarship to 47 deserving students of the ABU together with the Vice-Chancellor, Ibrahim Garba.
“China and Nigeria have many things in common, China is the largest economy in Asia and Nigeria is the largest in Africa.
“On October 1, 1960, Nigeria got her independence, while the People’s Republic of China got hers on October 1, 1949.
“Now, every year on October 1, happiness sprinkle China and Nigeria, we believe China and Nigeria are communities of shared future,” Pingjian said.
The ambassador said that over the 27 years of bilateral and mutual ties, Nigeria and China have worked together closely.
“This has boosted political relationship between us. In 1971 Nigeria was one of the 20th signatories for the return of China to the UN.
“Everybody knows ABU is the most prestigious in Nigeria and of course on this continent. We are happy ABU has shown degree of interest in partnering with Chances universities,” he said.
The envoy explained that the standard gauge rail project was one of the collaborations between China and Nigeria, aimed at creating positive development.
He also said volume of trade between the two countries had remarkably increased, where import from Nigeria to China increased to 79.1 per cent while the volume of import from China to Nigeria also increased tremendously.
In his speech, the Vice-Chancellor of ABU, Ibrahim Garba appreciated the Chinese government for what he described as `a path to a smoother relationship’, not only with the institution but with Nigeria at large.
He said the recipients were students with Cumulative Grade Point Average, CGPA, of 4.68 and above, saying that the award was a credit to their efforts and a morale booster for the next few years before they graduate.
“I have been informed that the 47 awards being made by you today are symbolic to the 47 productive years since the establishment of bilateral relationship between China and Nigeria.
“We are not only happy that the cooperation had been growing by the day, but the Ambassador’s scholarship tagged `October 1’ and the first time to be installed by the embassy is domesticated in our university.
“Your Excellency, this scholarship is one of several support we have been receiving from the embassy of the People’s Republic of China in several years,” he said.
Mr Garba, professor, recalled that the institution had received a library intervention in 2017, training fellowship of ABU staff and recently facilitation of Memorandum of Understanding to provide a Chinese instructor to teach the language.
He described China as a country that many other nations wanted to hold onto in all fields of human endeavour.
“If you don’t know China, you don’t know the world, there is nothing in this world that China did not dig into, China is a country that other great nations look onto, and they are of course conquering the world.
“I want to call on students to make judicious use of the opportunity, you can learn many things from ingenuity of Chinese people, China is the biggest country among the developing countries,” he said.