By Victoria Ojeme
The European Union has awarded the European Community Action Scheme for Mobility of University Students (ERASMUS+) programme scholarship to almost 100 Nigerian students.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, disclosed this during the virtual pre-departure orientation for the beneficiaries in Abuja today.
Dare recalled that since 2014 when the programme started in Nigeria till date, a large number of Nigerians have benefitted.
He added that to attest to the high quality and value of the programme, beneficiaries of the programme have been doing great exploits in Nigeria and all over the world.
“Therefore, I want to commend the European Community for extending this wonderful opportunity to Nigerian young people, the hope and future of our great country. The number of Nigerian students selected for the programme this year is highly encouraging. This further strengthens our confidence in the EU’s strong commitment to expanding opportunities for Nigerians, especially the youth, the future of the country.
“The Nigerian Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari since inception, prioritised investment in, and creating development opportunities for young Nigerians to excel in all their endeavours. This is the reason why it is very heart-warming that the ERASMUS+ programme has been a fulcrum to this commitment as we strive to secure the future and hope of Nigeria.
“The ministry therefore, identifies with the noble objectives of the ERASMUS+ programme because it aligns with the National Youth Policy goal of youth engagement and development as a veritable tool for socio-political and sustainable economic development,” Dare said.
Dare further admonished the beneficiaries, saying that a lot of hope rest on their shoulders and much was expected of them as beneficiaries of the ERASMUS+ programme and as ambassadors of Nigeria.
“You cannot afford to fail because Nigeria in particular places so much hope and expectations on you as future leaders who would deploy the knowledge, skills and experience to be garnered from the programme to better the lot of Nigeria in terms of providing good leadership and service delivery to the nation. Your predecessors of this programme are already doing great exploits all over the world. This throws a serious challenge at you as you must strive hard to surpass their achievements and carve a niche for yourselves,” Dare also said.
The minister further said in the country today, quality leadership was more imperative than ever before in order to meet set goals and expectations of the citizenry.
“This programme will definitely broaden your horizon; enhance your leadership capacity and ability to deliver efficiently on your chosen endeavours. You must use the knowledge and skills to be acquired from this programme to transform your society and the world at large. You must be fully prepared to face challenges; and remember that successful people never complain; but see challenges as opportunities and share them with others,” Dare added.
On his part, the Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ketil Karlsen, said having worked with the awardees on the field over the years, he knew the service they provided for the country.
“I worked a lot with you over the years. I have seen your work in the field, I know the service that you provide for your country as exceptional. So, it is always an honour for me to be with you,” Karlsen said.
Karlsen added that the orientation event was one of the most important events of the year, one which is at par with meeting with the President or Ministers or the Sultan or Cardinals because nothing is more important for the future of Nigeria than the youths.