Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria John Groffen on Friday said the embassy was willing to assist Nigerian schools interested in exchange programmes with their Netherlands counterparts.
Groffen said this during an interactive session with students of Nigerian Navy Secondary School and Naval Officers Wives Association Secondary School, Ojo, at the Western Naval Command, Apapa, Lagos.
He said that schools seeking such programmes and also scholarship needed to make the first move by coming forward with good proposals.
“We have to wait to see if a school can come up with a proposal for a programme between a Nigerian and a Dutch school and I can connect an exchange programme between them,’’ he said.
Groffen said the embassy would facilitate the admission process of young students who wanted to study in the Netherlands.
He said that in 2012, Netherlands awarded scholarship to 153 Nigerian students.
The navy school students and some Dutch students went on tour of a vessel ‘HNLMS Rotterdam, a warship from the Netherlands which berthed in Lagos on Tuesday.
The ‘HNLMS Rotterdam’ warship is in Nigeria for the “Exercise African Winds’’, which is part of the African Partnership Station (APS) initiative.
According to him, the tour will allow the students to benefit from the presence of the ship in Nigeria.
“This visit of the school children gives them a wonderful chance to learn more about our relations with Nigeria.
“The students can visit the ship in order to see with their own eyes how our countries are working together to ensure that waterways are safe for transport and trade.
“I am sure they will be impressed by the sheer size of the vessel and the navy material on board,’’ he said.
He said 650 Netherlands Navy personnel on board the ship had been engaged in joint exercises with their Nigerian counterparts and also meetings on water management, flood control and maritime security.
Some of the students and a teacher who spoke to NAN described their experience as educative and memorable.
Miss Ayoola Agbejobi, a student in SS3 at the Nigeria Navy Secondary School, expressed surprised at the size of the ship and had been able to learn so many things from the tour.
Agbejobi said the tour would motivate her dream of becoming a naval officer, saying: “I love the navy because they are very intelligent, disciplined and neat.
Mr Emeka Gold, a classmate of Agbejobi, also said that the tour had motivated him, and urged the relevant authorities to improve facilities in navy schools to international standard.
Mrs Comfort Chukwu, a teacher, said that the visit had helped the students to see what they had heard and taught in school.
Chukwu said that the exposure would encourage the students to be more dedicated to their studies.