By MILLICENT IFEANYICHUKWUMA
LAGOS- The maiden edition of Lagos International Students Recruitment Fair, aimed at assisting young Nigerians to study in Ghana, has begun in Lagos State.
The two-day fair organised by Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), in collaboration with 16 universities in Ghana and Access Bank Plc., is taking place at the Providence Hotel, Ikeja.
Ghana’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Rashid Bawa, said at the event that universities’ representatives at the fair should take advantage of it to establish relationships with participating students.
Bawa was represented by Hajia Samata Bukari, the Consul-General of Ghana in Lagos.
“The Ghana High Commission in Abuja and the Consulate-General in Lagos have, over the years, been assisting various institutions of higher learning in reaching out to prospective Nigerian students to gain knowledge in Ghana.
“We are ready to provide you with all the support needed for success. We have 16 tertiary institutions participating in this fair, offering causes from diploma to PhD across fields of learning.
“This is the first time, over a long while, that we are having a dedicated fair that brings together various universities in Ghana, both private and public, to market themselves to the Nigerian public,” Bawa said.
According to him, the fair provides an opportunity for on-the-spot answers to questions on how to gain admission into institutions of higher learning in Ghana.
The high commissioner said that the fair was in line with Ghana’s strategic foreign policy.
“We have organised, in our Chancery in Abuja and Lagos, various seminars and orientation programmes at the instance of individual universities.
“Some universities have also participated in trade fairs in Lagos and Abuja. These efforts have largely contributed to the large number of Nigerians in various Ghanaian educational institutions from primary to tertiary level.
“Our tertiary institutions have established and distinguished themselves as centres of quality education and learning, attracting students from all over the world.
“With a foreign student population of over 5,000 in our tertiary institutions, Ghana is well positioned to become the Mecca for students from Africa, the Caribbean and many parts of the world,” he added.
He praised principals and students for their presence at the fair.
Mr Albert Diwura, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, described tertiary education as the foundation shaping thoughts and providing tools for critical and independent analysis of issues.
He said that Ghana’s tertiary education sector had been outstanding, providing education in all fields.
“In both pre and post independent Ghana, Ghanaian universities have hosted students from the ECOWAS, particularly our brothers and sisters from Nigeria,” he said.
He said that hospitality, quality of education, common curriculum in selected countries and fraternal relations had characterised Ghana’s tertiary education sector.
“The GEPA recorgnises the need to work closely with our universities in this fair to position education as an exportable offer in the non-traditional export basket.
“It is for this reason that GEPA is working with our mission here in Nigeria to coordinate the participation of tertiary institutions in the 2022 Lagos International Students Recruitment Fair,” he said.
He said that the recruitment fair strategically aligned with and cascades into the broader framework of the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS).
According to him, NEDS recorgnises trade in services as one of the 17 priority sectors for tailored intervention by GEPA and other stakeholders in export trade.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that no fewer than 200 students from senior secondary schools across Lagos, including Kings College Lagos and Queens College Lagos, attended the fair which will end on Tuesday. (NAN)