By Ifeanyi Nwoko
Abuja – The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello on Thursday, inaugurated the 14th American Space in Nigeria.
The minister, who was in company of the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms. Mary Beth Leonard commended the initiative, assuring that the FCT Administration will ensure its sustainability.
He said that the establishment of the 14th American Space in Nigeria was a demonstration of the cordial relationship between Nigeria and the United States of America.
Speaking earlier, the U.S. Ambassador said that the American Spaces were hubs for English language learning, teacher training and educational advising as well as a hub for providing information about studying in the United States.
“The spaces are centres for learning, networking, projects and cultural programmes.
“The American Spaces programme has over 700 spaces in over 150 countries worldwide, and Nigeria has 14,” she said.
The Ambassador added that the 14th American Space in Nigeria was a partnership between the United States Embassy and the FCT administration City Library.
She said that in the spaces, one could find information for academics, businessmen and women, civic organizations, journalists, teachers, Students, government officials, military, clergy and traditional rulers.
Some of the popular programmes which she highlighted include; book reading clubs, conversation cafe’s, contests, children summer programs, digital literacy programs, entrepreneurship programs, film shows, public lectures, round table discussion and leadership skills training.
Speaking with newsmen after the inauguration, Ms. Malia Heroux, Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy, said that the hub provides all information for Nigerians who want to school in the U.S.
She said that the advisers of the hub will come and assist the people and guide them through the steps all at no cost.
She commended the City Library for being a wonderful Partner while advising parents and students to take advantage of the Space which will be open even on Saturdays.
High point of the event was the introduction of an Almajiri boy, Musab Muazu, who had been offered scholarship by the City Library for formal education.
Musab, who was already in the final Senior Secondary class also thrilled the audience when he introduced his brothers whom he had already taught how to read and write.
He said that the scholarship to formal education had been very helpful, and pleaded with the FCT administration to aid other Almajiri children with similar scholarships.