The United Kingdom and Nigeria have agreed to collaborate on education to improve the sector in the African country.
Mr Wale Adebanjo, Communication Manager of the British Deputy High Commission, said in a statement that the process will be driven by Insight Africa UK and the British Department for International Trade.
According to Adebanjo, the discussions will be held at the launch of Insight Africa UK Nigeria, which will be hosted at the British High Commission in Abuja on Tuesday, October 4, WorldStage News Online reports. They will reportedly discuss the state of Nigeria’s education system and work toward forging a mutually beneficial relationship with UK universities.
Mr Adebanjo has said that the aim of the collaboration will be to make quality education and training more affordable and more accessible to all.
According to Mr Adebanjo, the collaboration will:
“Help to improve the quality of healthcare through quality training for healthcare providers. Link Nigerian institutions with reputable universities from the UK to explore areas of collaboration.’’
UK Minister for the Department for International Development (DFID) James Wharton is also set to visit Nigeria for the first time since her was appointed, highlighting the increasing collaboration between the UK and Nigeria’s education sectors.
“Nigeria’s success truly matters to the UK and to Africa as a whole. As an outward-looking, globally engaged nation, I want to deepen the broad range of support and assistance the UK provides Nigeria, including in health, education and economic reform.”
As reported by National Accord, Wharton also spoke of the humanitarian role of his visit:
“It is a tragedy that the conflict in North East Nigeria has left millions of people in urgent need of shelter, protection, food and emergency health care. On this visit I will be seeing for myself some of the humanitarian support from the British people going to those in such desperate need – helping to improve security and stability.”
Nigeria has been at the centre of what Unicef has called “a hidden catastrophe”, with parts of the country suffering from immense poverty even before the current turmoil caused by Boko Haram. According to Unicef, the terrorist Boko Haram movement has affected education systems, healthcare facilities and basic services. More than 2,000 schools have closed because of Boko Haram.
In further news, members of the British House of Commons have recently warned that time is running out to rescue the abducted Chibok girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram over two years ago.
Stephen Twigg MP has said that aside from counter-terrorism support and advice on hostage negotiation and victim support capabilities for Nigeria, the UK has invested about £5 million in supporting the multinational joint task force set up to combat Boko Haram, Punch reports.
Twigg, however, has called for more funding from the UK government as well as from other countries, noting that:
“The United Nations appeal for Nigeria is not fully funded and we urge the governments to do all they can to ensure that the appeal is funded, including by other countries. At the world humanitarian summit in Turkey in May, commitments were made to address education in emergencies.”