By Raphael Oni, Abuja
Nigeria and China has had 45 years of solid and rewarding diplomatic ties. This dated back 1971 when both create avenue for mutual understanding. Nigeria and the People’s Republic of China established formal diplomatic relations in February 10, 1971.As part of the excellent ties between the two countries over the years; the Chinese government gave scholarship to one thousand Nigerian students in the Federal Capital Territory recently.
The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Nigeria, Mr. Zhou Pingjan at the presentation ceremony said the Chinese Ambassadors Scholarship is part of the Chinese government’s effort to assist young Nigerian students in their educational pursuit. The assistance entitled the “Chinese Ambassadors scholarship” is part of activities to commemorate the forty-fifth anniversary of Nigeria-China diplomatic ties.
The presentation took place at the Chinese Embassy in Abuja. The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Nigeria, His Excellency Dr. Zhou Pingjan disclosed that each of the one thousand students picked from two hundred public schools in the Federal Capital Territory got a sum of twelve thousand naira.
Ambassador Pingjan said Nigeria-China relations have been excellent over the years. In his words, “To mark the forty fifth anniversary, this big anniversary, we discussed with your government we better do something, the scholarship is one of the things we want use to commemorate our forty fifth anniversary of our diplomatic ties. Forty five years is not a very long time, but we have achieved a lot, we have a lot to celebrate.”
Futher more the Ambassador said “We have a lot to celebrate; actually back in 1971 we Chinese were very happy to establish diplomatic relations with Nigeria in 1971, in that year you helped China a lot, we are very grateful, why, for the first time in 1971 the Peoples Republic of China was restored its legitimate seat in the United Nations Security Council and thanks to the the help of Nigeria and twenty two other countries, without your help we might have waited a little longer, so we are always grateful.”
Ambassador Pingjan said Nigeria shares a lot of similarities; one of the similarities between the two countries both have October 1 as the independent day.
Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory, who represented the Minister of the Territory, Alhaji Mohammed Bello said the cash award was for vulnerable students. According to him the scholarship will help put smile of the faces of some of the venerable students and their families. In his words, “this scholarship is for the very venerable students who could not afford the basic things they are supposed to do and have in school, so this cash award will enable them to buy books and get some other teaching aids that will assist them to meet up with other students.”
The benefitting students were so happy and elated by the kind gesture of the Chinese government.