China Awards Scholarship to 1,000 FCT Students

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By Olawale Ajimotokan and Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China as part of efforts at deepening relations with Nigeria, particularly in the education sector, has awarded scholarship to 1,000 indigent students in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to help them in their academic pursuit.
The gesture, which according to the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingjian is to commemorate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties with Nigeria, was targeted at supporting those the embassy described as the future of not just Nigeria but the entire world.
The value of the sponsorship package which the Chinese presented to the students is put at N12 million. The beneficiaries are drawn from 200 schools, made up of 140 primary and 60 junior secondary schools.
FCT Permanent Secretary Babatope Ajakaiye, represented the FCT Minister Muhammed Bello at the open day occasion.
Dr Pingjian urged the scholarship recipients to make good use of the gesture by taking their academics seriously, adding that education is a major tool for the development of both the individual and the nation.
While noting that Sino- Nigeria relations had come a long way from 1971 when Nigeria joined 22 other countries of the world to support the restoration of China’s legitimate seat at the United Nations (UN), Pingjian said Nigeria and China have a close affinity that if properly harnessed would take both countries to greater heights.
According to him, apart from the fact that both countries have the largest population in their respective continents and are also the largest economy in their regions, China and Nigeria mark their independence days on October 1, in addition to incorporating the word ‘Arise’ in opening stanzas of their National Anthems which depicts a high level of connectivity both need to exploit for mutual benefits.
“We share a lot with Nigeria and the scholarship to the students is to commemorate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties with Nigeria. Nigeria helped in creating diplomatic path with other African countries. We enjoy the enormous human resources advantage conferred on Nigeria as Africa’s most populous country. China is the second biggest economy in the world and the most populous nation in Asia and in the world. Together, we can do many things, Pingjian said.
Assuring the children of a bright tomorrow, the ambassador, urged them to take their studies seriously and pursue their dreams, stating that with education no height is impossible to scale.
Earlier Ajakaiye, while commending the embassy for the gesture which he said was targeted at the vulnerable students, appreciated China for her willingness to always assist Nigeria, knowing the country is still a developing nation.
He therefore urged the recipients not to let down themselves and the nation, noting that the people who gave them the award worked hard to be in a position to give.