By Jean Ambele
Abuja – The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, has urged recipients of the 2017 to 2018 Chevening Scholarship to come back home after their studies to contribute to the nation’s political and economic development.
Arkwright gave the advice on Thursday at the award presentation ceremony and reception in honour of the 43 Nigerians for the 2017 to 2018 Chevening Scholarship at the British High Commissioner’s Residence in Abuja.
Chevening is a UK governments’ global scholarship programme that offers students the unique opportunity to study for a fully-funded master’s degree in the UK.
They will be departing for study in the UK this September.
He said:“the Chevening encourages students to learn from others and to come back to their home countries to contribute to their home economy and develop their countries with the knowledge gotten from the UK educational system.
“This is more like an event to celebrate the success of the hard work of the recipients of the Chevening and Common Wealth scholarships who will be furthering their studies in the UK.
“This year in Nigeria alone, we had just over 6,000 students apply for the Chevening scholarship but only 43 students were selected so these are the best of the best in the country.
“We are proud of these selected scholars and happy that they will be benefiting from the UK educational system which is one of the best, if not the best in the world.
“The major aspect of this scholarship which has been running since 1983, consists of a community of 48,000 people around the world.”
Also speaking at the event, Dr Habiba Lawal, acting Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chevening alumna congratulated the scholars and encouraged the scholars to utilise the scholarship opportunity.
“I want to congratulate all the Chevening scholars here as a received this same scholarship 20 years ago.
“It is an opportunity that opened doors for me and greatly influenced the way I work, my skills and competence.
“I have been serving as a permanent secretary for the past four-and-a-half years, I have worked in four different ministries and I am currently serving as the acting SGF with the help of the Chevening education.
“Utilise this opportunity and ensure you come back to your country to contribute to the Nigerian economy so that the aim of the scholarship can be attained and together we can build Nigeria,’’ she said.
Felix Nnam, a Chevening recipient, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that he was grateful for the opportunity to travel abroad.
“I am extremely grateful to the UK government for helping me actualise my dreams of getting an advanced degree in the UK.
“I will definitely make sure that I make everyone proud and that I make the best use of this opportunity.’’
Salisu Ibrahim, also a recipient, said “this is an amazing opportunity given to us and I am happy that the UK government is willing to fund the next level of my education.
“We are definitely going to put in the work to make Nigerians proud and ensure we come back home as Chevening ambassadors to contribute to the development of Nigeria,’’ he said