The Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, has supported 34 of its students with N10 million to study first degree and Doctor of Philosophy, PhD, degree in Engineering in China.
The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ibrahim Garba made the disclosure at a farewell reception organised for the benefiting students held at Samaru, Zaria, Kaduna State.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the Engineering programme is a special arrangement where the benefiting students would spend three years at Central South University, CSU, Changsha, China and come back to ABU, Zaria to spend two years.
NAN reports that the new programme would enable the students earn dual degrees of China and Nigeria in Traffic and Transportation Engineering respectively.
Mr Garba said: “This time around we actually invested quite a lot; we paid over N10 million to freight you to China and this is public money that is paid from the school fees of everybody.
“So bear in mind that you are going on public funds partly, and then of the scholarship of the Central South University.
“This year unfortunately CCEC has declined to support but I think it is a matter of time; it is as a result of lack of fulfillment of obligation by Nigerian Government in their contract, which two days ago, that contract had been signed.”
He, however, expressed optimism that by next year, CCEC would come up with another scholarship so that another 40 or so students would benefit.
The VC said: “Let me congratulate this second batch of our students that are departing to Central South University, CSU, China.
“By no means, you have also become part of the chosen ones that are going to utilise this very unique opportunity that has come our way in Nigeria and ABU in particular.
“So far, we are very happy to have realise that the first batch that we sent have not disappointed us, they have actually made us very proud by performing very well, living very well, respecting the traditions and situations in China.
“And by so doing, Chinese are appreciating and respecting Nigerians at least for the first time, yes, because our brothers and sisters that have found their way to China in many respects ended up bringing shame to Nigeria,” he said.
While reminding them that they were not the first set to be there, he said they had a lot of experience to gain from those that went there before them.
In his speech, the Director, Directorate of University Advancement, Prof. Ahmed Adamu, recalled that in the last few years the federal government had invested huge amount of resources in building the railway.
He described the collaboration between China and Nigeria as an opportunity to reform the nation’s railway transport system.
The don charged the students to take full advantage of the unique opportunity to be educated toward building a vibrant nation.
- Speaking on behalf of benefiting students, Aliyu Kasimu, said that there was a similarity between China and Nigeria, adding that China is the most populous country in Asia while Nigeria is the largest in Africa.
Mr Kasimu promised to make good use of the opportunity to make not only ABU proud but Nigeria as a whole, assuring that the gigantic efforts of the university would never be in vain.