The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has proposed the signing of a bilateral educational agreement between Nigeria and Norway, which he said could east Nigerian youth’s access to education.
Mr. Adamu made the proposal when the Ambassador of Norway to Nigeria, Jens-Petter Kjemprud, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Thursday.
He said, “I think what we should focus on is to see to it that the bilateral educational agreement is signed so as to curb crisis in conflict areas.”
The minister, therefore, commended the Norwegian Government for its support toward ensuring that education was brought to every part of the country, especially the conflict area of the north-east.
“The government is very happy with your donation of about N3.6 billion and we have made judicious use of it.
“We also know what you are doing in the Lake Chad region.
“You have contributed to reduce the crisis but what I find not very easy is that we have not signed the bilateral educational agreement.
“And I think that is what we should focus on,’’ he said.
Earlier, Mr. Kjemprud said the government of Norway had helped Nigeria develop education in conflict areas.
He said that recently during the Oslo humanitarian conference for Nigeria and Lake Chad, the country committed about $2.8 million to provide education for Nigerians.
He said that an additional $9.5 million was also committed to the education of young Nigerians affected by insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country.
According to the envoy, Norway focuses on assisting Nigeria to boost education to prevent further crisis in the North-east.
“We made a commitment during the conference to stay with Nigeria through the northeast crisis, and through a whole long term engagement in the education sector,” he said.
He, however, said that the Norwegian Government had offered scholarships to Nigerian students to pursue post-graduate studies in Norway.
He added that about 39 students are currently studying for their master programmes in oil engineering in a Norwegian school.
He further promised the Nigerian Government that Norway would continue to sustain the implementation of the programme to enable Nigerian youth have quality education.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Norwegian Government in 2006 established an Education Trust Fund to support sub-Saharan African countries develop strategies and programmes for secondary education.
In 2014, as a result of the abducted Chibok girls, the Norwegian Government also offered grant of N270 million to Nigerian Government to promote girl education in northern Nigeria.
Also in 2014, they signed an agreement with UNICEF regarding the use of fund to support the nation`s safe school initiative.