The Federal Government has announced that 72 recipients of the Bilateral Education Agreement (BEA) scholarships will leave Nigeria for Hungary the following week.
According to the government, in an effort to increase access to higher education, Hungary provided undergraduate and graduate scholarships to the 72 Nigerians to attend various universities in the European nation.
The scholars are scheduled to leave Nigeria between now and tomorrow in order to resume their studies in Hungary for the academic year 2023–2024.
Minister of State for Education, Yusuf Sununu, announced this at the pre-departure briefing yesterday in Abuja.
He advised the scholars to abide by the rules and laws of their host country to avoid imperiling their education and their future.
Sununu reminded the scholars that the scholarship was a reward for excellence and encouragement to brilliant Nigerians who could not afford to sponsor their studies in foreign countries.
The minister said this was in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu to make quality education accessible to all Nigerians.
He recalled that the Federal Government, in 1999, revitalised the scholarship scheme by investing more in national and international programmes in a bid to strengthen the BEA with development partners to develop her manpower needs.
Sununu hailed the government and people of Hungary for granting the young Nigerians the opportunity to study in their country.
The minister noted that despite the global economic meltdown, a number of development partners have increased with many of them offering scholarships to Nigerians.
He said: “The active countries include Hungary, China, Algeria, Romania, Morocco, Serbia, Mexico, Egypt, and Venezuela. Other non-regulars include Macedonia, Poland, South Korea, Greece, Japan, Tunisia, and Turkey.”
Sununu stressed that in order to reciprocate their good gestures, Nigeria also offered scholarships to China and Romania in the past and hoped to reactivate the gesture as these countries and others indicate interest.
The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education, David Adejo, said the scholarship was a testament to the remarkable academic abilities and potentials of the scholars.
He said all of them demonstrated exceptional hard work for being selected for the scholarships.
Adejo urged the scholars to be good ambassadors of their parents and Nigeria, reminding the scholars that the scholarship was not just the recognition of their past academic achievements but an investment in their future.
The Director of Federal Scholarship Board, Astra Ndajiwo, said the scholarship was opened to Nigerian citizens in 2022 with 150 entries.
The director said after rigorous screening, 72 of the 150 applicants who sailed through had received their September to December allowances for their final departure to Hungary.
She added that subsequent payment of their allowances would start from January 2024 and would be remitted through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the Embassy of Hungary.
Ayodeji Akerele, who spoke on behalf of the awardees, promised the Federal Government and their parents to portray the good image of Nigeria as well as return to the country contribute their quotas to national development.