No fewer than 350 Nigerian undergraduate and postgraduate students have benefitted from educational programmes in Brazil, the Consul General in Lagos, Fransisco Luz, has said.
Luz said this at the opening of the 2021 Annual Lecture and One Week Exhibition of Arts/Film show of the Lagos State University Centre for Afro-Brazilian Students, LASUCAS, on Monday in Lagos.
The theme of the lecture is “Brazil/Nigeria Relations: Historical and Future Opportunities”.
The envoy said that there was an agreement between Nigeria and Brazil which allows Nigerian students to travel to Brazil on scholarship to study for either undergraduate or postgraduate courses.
“The programme for undergraduate is called PEC-G while that of postgraduate is called PEC-PG (in the Portuguese acronym) and there is also a cooperation programme between Brazil and countries in Africa, Latin America and Caribbean.
“Its goal is to give young students from these countries an opportunity to undertake their full undergraduate studies at Brazilian universities,” Luz said.
He added that more recent developments has made governments turn their attention to technical and vocational education and training programmes, tagged TVET.
“The ultimate goal is to secure that all graduates from these programmes must be ready for the job market, either as employees or as entrepreneurs.
“LASU, through the Centre for Afro-Brazilian studies, has applied to be a centre of excellence for the conduct of this exam and it is hoped this will be approved very soon.
“However, in recent times because of the COVID-19 pandemic and some reorganisation in the Agency that handles the examination, the Exams for now hold in Brazil,” Luz said.
He urged tertiary institutions and stakeholders to strengthen the current agreement and to create new ones in order to make all sectors of our societies to know about one another.
In his remarks, Professor Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, Vice Chancellor, LASU, said that the main objective of the centre was to promote in-depth research on the Brazilian cultural, archaeological and architectural relics in Nigeria, especially in Lagos state.
Olatunji-Bello said that Brazil had a lot of socio-historical and political similarities with Nigeria dating back to the era of slavery.
“The two countries maintain a traditional and diversified relationship, with a strong Nigerian influence on Brazilian cultural and social formation.
“It is hoped that the centre will grow to become an authority and a recognised voice on Afro-Brazilian issues and one of the international faces of the LASU,” she said.
Teju Phillips, Chairman, LASACO Assurance, Lagos. said there was still ample room to improve the collaboration between Brazil and Nigeria, especially around trade.
Mrs Phillip, who is also the Chairperson of the programme, said that it was worthy to note that Nigeria just recently secured a loan of 1.2 billion dollars from Brazil to revolutionise agriculture.
“Both sides have identified an area of mutually beneficial trade in the energy sector.
“As Brazil-Nigeria diplomatic relations come into its fortieth year, we should take the opportunity and overcome shared challenges, to bring the strategic partnership for mutually beneficial cooperation to a new height,” she said.