Written by Godfrey AKON

Russia, Algeria award scholarships to 78 Nigerians

Russia and Algeria have awarded scholarships to 78 Nigerian students under the 2015/2016 Bilateral Educational Agreement, BEA, with Nigeria.

Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwuka, who disclosed this in Abuja, said 63 of the scholars were departing for Russia to enrol in undergraduate and postgraduate studies while 15 would be departing for Algeria.

Anwuka noted that Russia has become the highest donor of scholarships to Nigerian students among countries under Bilateral Educational Agreement with Nigeria, adding that the gesture was the result of Nigeria’s good relationship with the country.

Other BEA scholarship-awarding countries include: China, Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Mexico, Macedonia, Cuba and Hungary which joined in 2014 and presently offers the highest number of Postgraduate BEA awards to Nigerians.

According to the minister, over 600 scholarships were currently enjoyed by Nigerians in various countries under the BEA, stressing that Federal Government was committed to the education of Nigerians.

He urged the scholars to work hard and be of good conduct, warning that those unable to cope with academic work would be withdrawn from the awards as there would be no repeat of the scholarship.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, noted that the BEA award was based on the principle of reciprocity as countries grant and receive scholarships.

 Yemi-Esan said under the agreement, Nigeria has offered scholarships to students from China and Romania and more countries were indicating interests.

She lauded Russia and Algeria’s consistency in the annual offer of BEA scholarships to Nigerian students and for steadily increasing their slots.

 The Permanent Secretary explained that the scholarship covers payment of tuition and accommodation fees of awardees by governments of donor nations, as well as payment of supplementation allowance, warm clothing allowance, health insurance, take-off expenses and return expenses by the Nigerian Government.

In his remarks, Chief of Protocol and Officer responsible for implementing the BEA programme at the Russian Embassy in Abuja, Mr. Artem Romanov, thanked Nigeria for ensuring proper implementation of the BEA programme over the years, noting that the scholarships were given to the best students.

Romanov, who disclosed that more than ten thousand Nigerians have studied in Russia, charged the scholars to make good use of the opportunity to have quality education and contribute to the development of Nigerian.

 He assured that Russian Embassy in Nigeria will sustain ties between the students and their home country when they are away.

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