The Federal Government has awarded 179 Nigerian students scholarship to study different programmes in Russia.
Speaking at the 2023/2024 pre-departure briefing of Bilateral Education Agreement Scholars to Russia in Abuja on Tuesday, Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, said their selection is part of a broader plan, which ensures that brilliant Nigerians, especially those that cannot afford to study programmes that are not readily available in Nigeria, are supported to get necessary knowledge, skills and competence that would be useful in Nigeria’s development agenda.
The first batch of students are already on their way to the airport for departure, while the second and third batches would depart on November 15 and November 17 respectively.
Represented by the Director of Universities Education in the ministry, Rakiya Ilyasu, Mamman advised the students not to see the opportunity as uncontrolled freedom to do things that would be to their disgrace.
He explained that the country had invested a lot in them and as such required the returns of the investment on their return to the country.
“Note that you are few out of thousands who secured this opportunity which you must not take for granted. Your parents and teachers would also be happy with your succor.
“In spite of the global economic meltdown, the number of our development partners have increased and many of them now offer scholarship to Nigeria.
“As you prepare to travel out, ensure to uphold and eschew good values, focus on your studies and be a good ambassador of your country,” he said.
The minister also advised the students to always strive to abide by the laws of their host country and remember to be their brother’s keeper in the new environment.
“Most importantly, you need to make your presence known to the Nigerian Embassy in Moscow. This is very necessary based on our experiences from Ukraine.
“Your parents are also spending a lot of resources on you. Note that we all expect your return to our dear country at the end of your studies to assist Nigeria to become a better place by contributing your quota to its development, using your new knowledge and skills,” he said.
Also speaking, the Director, Federal Scholarship Board, Asta Ndajiwo, said the journey began in November 2022 with applications from thousands of Nigerians, which later translated to the nomination of the candidates.
While advising the scholars to do away with any extracurricular activities that could take their lives, she recalled an incident with previous two scholars who lost their lives while swimming in a pool.
“We regret loosing two Nigerians scholars in Russia in the past that went to swim and in the process got drowned. We don’t want to loose anyone again and so we advise you stay away from water if you cannot can’t swim,” she said.