Group Seeks Educational Ties between Nigeria, Belarus

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Uchechukwu Nnaike

Members of Belarusniki, the alumni association of Belorussian institutions, Nigerian chapter, have expressed their commitment to facilitating an enduring educational and economic relationship between Nigeria and the Republic of Belarus.

The President, Muktar Usman, who made this known recently at the association’s second annual general meeting in Lagos, said its hope is to work with the government to encourage exchange programmes among students and lecturers of both countries to share ideas and best practises.

He said the non-political, non-religious and non-ethic association was established in April 2016 to foster economic, educational and socio-political ties between both countries.

According to him, the move is the members’ way of showing appreciation to the federal government for sending them to Belarus to acquire quality education, which has made them professionals in various fields in Nigeria and in the diaspora.

On the activities of the young association, Usman said though Belarusniki is currently grappling with inadequate funds, the members recently provided food items and materials for internally displaced persons in Abuja with resources that were pulled together through their donations and contributions.

“Our young association in the next few years will consolidate on the membership drive in all parts of the country and beyond. We are also planning to reach out to donor agencies for support, and in terms of giving back to the society, we are thinking in the area of education and cultural exchanges whereby students and academics from the Republic of Belarus and Nigeria can benefit from exchange programmes mutually.”

He therefore appealed to the government of Belarus to use the opportunity offered by the establishment of the association to exploit the huge investment potential that abound in all sectors of the economies of both countries.

In his remarks, the Counsellor of the Embassy of Belarus in Nigeria, Mr. Aleksandr Lukashevich stated that the country has managed to maintain the rich tradition of the Soviet Union in terms of quality education and in other areas.

He said education in the country is affordable and of high quality, adding that the embassy recently signed MoU for further education and trade between both countries.