Fred Ezeh and Paulinus Aidoghie, Abuja
Chinese government, through its Embassy in Nigeria, on Tuesday, disbursed N4.9 million to 49 students of University of Abuja (UniAbuja), to assist their educational pursuit.
The intervention, according to the Chinese embassy, was part of event to mark the 60th independence anniversary of Nigeria, as well as the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Charge de Affairs of the embassy, Mr. Zhao Yong, who presented the cash and certificate to the benefitting students at the University campus in Abuja, congratulated the students and urged them to make good use of the opportunity for the benefit of both countries.
He said: “I charge you and your peers to strengthen China-Nigeria friendship and, possibly, become goodwill ambassadors for the two nations. Next February will mark the 50th anniversary of China-Nigeria diplomatic relations. We need to work towards the upliftment of our bilateral relations to new heights for the benefit of both countries.”
UniAbuja Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, in his remarks, appreciated the intervention and assured the Chinese Government that the school was committed to any cause that would strengthen their relationship for mutual benefit of all.
He assured the Ambassador that the students would make good use of the opportunity to improve themselves.
He further disclosed that the University recently took two important decision that would further boost the academic reputation of the school. First, was the commencement of railway engineering programme before the end of the year and, second, was making foreign language, including Chinese compulsory for all students of the school.
The VC said the essence was the make graduates of the school global citizens who would be relevant and easily adapt to global discussions.
Meanwhile, the Dean, Student Affairs, UniAbuja, Abubakar Kari, in his remarks, explained that the selection process was transparent and was conducted in accordance with the expected guidelines.
He said: “The students were selected based on performance, gender, equality and need. In selecting the students, we considered state of origin to ensure equal allocation of opportunity. 11 faculties that make up the school was properly represented.
“There are 26 female and 23 male. It was a deliberate effort to empower more women. Seven slots were given to postgraduate students while the rest was alloted to undergraduate students.”
He urged the benefitting students to reciprocate the gesture and prove themselves, academically and otherwise, in order to justify their support.