Kano state government and the Embassy of France in Nigeria have initiated a joint scholarship scheme to sponsor postgraduate training of 12 indigenes of the state every year, for the next three years, in reputable French universities.
Under the arrangement, the state government would provide accommodation, upkeep and travel expenses while the French embassy would take care of registration, tuition and health insurance for the beneficiaries, according to the state Acting governor, Professor Hafiz Abubakar.
The Acting governor, who disclosed this during a brief ceremony at the Kano Government House, stated that the state government has already settled its own part of the students’ dues for one year, to facilitate the programme.
Giving highlights of the programme, Prof. Hafiz explained that the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje “personally decided that the offer should be dedicated to lectures of the states’ tertiary institutions”, adding that the beneficiaries are from Kano University of Technology, Northwest University and the State Polytechnic.
“The aim is to build the capacity of lecturers, and the initiative clearly demonstrates the Ganduje administration’s commitment towards promoting learning and attaining higher education levels for citizens of the state”, he maintained.
Prof. Hafiz, who doubles as the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, stated that the candidates’ applications were meticulously preselected and interviewed by a selection committee of the French Embassy in Nigeria, which also sourced the universities that offered the admissions.
Describing the scholarship arrangement, as the first of its kind in Kano and a demonstration of the cordiality between the state government and the Embassy in Nigeria, the Acting governor charged the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of Nigeria by exhibiting excellence in character and learning.
He, therefore, thanked the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Denys Gauer, for his support to the government of Kano state, hoping the relationship would continue to flourish.
The Acting governor also used the occasion to present 15 partial scholarships offered to indigenes of the state by Near East University, Cyprus, to study Engineering and Nursing at Doctorate, Masters and Undergraduate levels.
Under the arrangement, which is as a result of the good working relationship with the state government, the university would provide tuition and Value Added Tax for each student while the state government would provide living and travelling expenses.
In his remarks, the French ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Denys Gauer explained that the scholarship is aimed at strengthening bilateral relationship with Nigeria, especially Kano, adding that, on completion of their studies, the beneficiaries, who were given admission to pursue courses in some of the highest achieving fields in France’s education sector, will add value to the economy of their state.
“Nigeria and France have in recent times increased their level of political cooperation, with exchange visits by our Presidents”, he asserted, adding that while both countries are working to address the security challenges facing Nigeria, his country, through the French Development Agency, is determined to execute more projects for people in the country.
The envoy announced plans to finance a 50 million Euro water management project in Kano, within the next three years, as part of effort to consolidate development cooperation between the two countries.