FG urges Commonwealth Scholars to use acquired skills to develop Nigeria

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Federal Government has advised the commonwealth scholars to be a good ambassador of UK and use the knowledge gained towards the development of their home country.

The Director of the Federal Scholarship Board, Fatima Ahmad, gave this advice in Abuja on Thursday at a reception by the British Council for members of the Commonwealth Scholarships & Fellowship Plan Alumni network

Ahmad, who urged the scholars to complement government’s efforts in the development of the education sector in the country, said that government was set to have its database through which it could be of help to them.

“Through the `ministry of education change agenda,` we really want to annex the available skills of our youth for positive impact because we cannot grow if our youths are idle.

“We were already thinking of getting the data base of commonwealth scholars, so that we know when they returned, where they are, and then look for a framework within the government sector to absorb them.

According to her, the ministry is working towards having a framework, where we can have our students to enable us meet with them to tap from their skill assets.

“We know that employment is not automatic but at least if we have their database, the tertiary education and other government institutions include research institutes may help and get some of them employed.

“So that we can move the country forward; we are working on that to ensure that the skills they acquired under the commonwealth scholarship is not wasted.

“We will look into how to fix them into transformation agenda that education for change is after.

“My counsel to the scholars is to let us have their data base to see who is engaged and who is not engaged and the areas of their discipline.

“Then we engage them with a view to see where they can contribute to the development of the sector,” she said.

The British Deputy High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson, earlier said that that the Commonwealth Scholarships was one of the most visible institutions of the Commonwealth of Nations.

According to her, the alumni are very important to the UK because they are ambassadors of UK education.

She said “as leaders in their various capacities and sectors, they offer an influential network to the UK.

“The British Government is keen to remain in contact with the alumni and engage with them through events like these for a number of reasons.

“The simplest one is building and maintaining connections with individuals who share core Commonwealth values of international peace and security, tolerance, respect and understanding and sustainable development”

The Country Director British Council, Lucy Pearson said the Council’s involvement with the scheme over the years has evolved from supporting scholars prior to their departure.

Pearson said the Council also involved with the scheme while on award to supporting the scholars on return to their home country.

She said that the Council had supported the growth of the Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows Alumni Association of Nigeria.

According to her, this is expected to be instrumental in demonstrating the impact of the scheme and promoting Commonwealth values(NAN)

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