British Council Celebrates 75 Years in Nigeria

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Cutting the anniversary cake with the British Council Country director, lucy Pearson

To celebrate its 75th year in Nigeria, the British Council’s anniversary was marked in Kano State, which afforded them the opportunity to outline their successes over the years, especially in the northern part of the country, Chiemelie Ezeobi reports

For 75 years, the British Council has firmly made an imprint in Nigeria. To mark this memorable occasion, the anniversary train of the council arrived Bristol Hotel in Kano on Saturday, August 24, 2019.

The event which was tagged “Thanks to You” was aimed at driving an awareness of the council’s activities in the country, more especially in the North of Nigeria.

According to British Council Country Director, Lucy Pearson, “the event in Kano provides the opportunity to hear from some of the people who have epitomised the value of cultural relations. These people have used the platforms offered to greatly influence their sectors and exemplify leadership. They have brought innovation to their work and proven the possibilities that exist in.Thanks to you, Kano State and Thanks to you, Nigeria, we are here creating opportunities.”

She also mentioned some the different programmes that the British Council has introduced to the country, which has been impacting lives especially in Kano and they include the Active Citizens programme introduced in 2014.

She said: “In Kano, we worked with the Bayero University Kano where the students identified incidences of gender based related violence both on campus and within the immediate host community. The team carried out advocacy programmes with the support of the university to community leaders, law enforcement agencies and Community Based Organisations. The team also launched a campaign against drugs and substance abuse in host communities”.

In terms of the Premier Skills programme, coaches in Kano have benefitted from extensive training leading to the start of the first all-female football club in Kano at the Kano Capital Girl’s Secondary school; there is also the Barewa Rugby Club supported by the iTry Rugby Programme.

Meanwhile, the Executive Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Hajiya Laratu Ado Diso, who extolled the work of the British Council in the state especially in the area of Education, Teacher Training and job creation through entrepreneurship training programmes, said the wish of the state was for the good work to continue.

In terms of its Enterprise Programmes, panelist at the event featured successful past participants such as CEO Verdant Agri Tech, NasirYammama, who talked about how the British Council has supported the company to provide over 25,000 farmers with technological skills; Deputy Marketing Manager TecnoMobile, Attai Oguche, who introduced his concept of developing beyond the certificate that the council helped him to achieve and Sadiya Mukhtar Yola – of Yolight Designs, who shared the story of how British Council’s programmes helped the company develop into a successful fashion business that has affected the community positively.

Other panellists of the day included Vice Chancellor National Open University, Abdalla Uba Adamu and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Faculty of Law Bayero University, Professor Mohammed Tabi, who registered the British Council’s work with the Justice system in Nigeria.

At the end of the event, the country director expressed the British Council’s commitment to the next 75 years of continuous positive collaboration and active presence in Nigeria.

The event was moderated by Mohammed Ahmed, British Council’s Director for Schools Education and Society.