The Chinese Embassy in Nigeria on Thursday offered scholarship to 47 students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, a.k.a. UNIZIK, Awka, Anambra State.
Professor Joseph Ahaneku, vice chancellor of the university, explained that the beneficiaries were indigent students and best students of courses that were not well subscribed.
According to Ahaneku, such courses included vocational education, technical education and entrepreneurial studies.
He explained that it was the first time such scholarship was offered to students of the university studying locally, but that over 200 students of the university pursuing higher degrees are enjoying Chinese scholarship abroad.
Lin Jin, Chinese Charge d’Affairs to Nigeria, who also represented the Chinese Ambassador at the occasion, said UNIZIK had special attraction to China because of the establishment of Confucius Institute in 2008, which he said open a window between Nigeria and China.
The ‘2018 October 1st Chinese Ambassador Scholarship Award Ceremony’, he said, was initiated after Chinese National Day which fell on October 1, and the 47 beneficiaries represented 47 years of diplomatic relationship between Nigeria and China.
Lin said China was passionate about Nigeria’s growth and development, given its similarities with Nigeria.
According to him, China has the largest population in Asia just as Nigeria has the largest population in Africa.
However, he continued, China turned its large population into an advantage which resulted in the country being the second largest economy in the world currently.
“We have every reason to boost exchange because the nation will prosper if its younger generation learns to see tomorrow of Nigeria in Nnamdi Azikiwe University,” he added.
Urging beneficiaries of the scholarship scheme to be ambassadors of the two countries, he thanked the university for its hospitality.
“We are overwhelmed by your hospitality. This has given us the chance to be exposed to local tradition, especially the taste of kolanut. You have shown immense goodwill to your collaboration.”
Prof. Ahaneku had earlier said the visit was to nurture the relationship between Nigeria and China and that the beneficiaries would ever remember and be thankful to the Chinese government.