Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, AmbassadorYusuf MaitamaTuggar, has said that out of the 32,344 Nigerians in Germany, no fewer than 1,970 are students in various institutions in the country. According to him, many of the students are most studying and acquiring knowledge in the fields of medicine and engineering. Tuggar, who in an interview with the New Telegraph in Abuja, added that most of the students were on scholarships, under the auspices of the educational cooperation between the two countries. He said: “We have quite a lot of programmes. Our second work plan has to do with engaging the German States.
There are 16 states and we are approaching each state individually and engaging their Ministers/ Presidents, which is the equivalent of Governors in Nigeria. We are also engaging the Secretaries of these states to see areas of cooperation at the sub-state and state levels. “Many of them have institutions of higher learning, such as Colleges of Science and Technology, universities and research institutes that we have identified and are partnering some Nigeria’s centres of learning.” Tuggar also added: “We have an ongoing partnership between the University of Abuja and the University of Munster in the area of Grid Optimization and Diaspora Studies. I actually witnessed the signing of the agreement in Munster sometimes last year.
“Currently, we have Dr. Olonade of the Universityof LagosattheUniversity of Potsdam carrying out a research work. In fact, he was given an award last year and he visited my office in Germany. His research work is on the Application of Cassava to Construction – by using cassava to augment and subsidise cement and concrete. It is a cutting-edge research work for which he has been getting a lot of support. “These things come on a regular basis. We are also working on another initiative where we want Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to make some improvements in certain universities to make them more prepared towards collaboration with German universities. “We have cultural exchange programmes with Germany.
As a matter of fact, the Embassy is planning an event for July 20, which will feature Arts, Literature, Music and Culture. We want to use that window to further promote cultural collaboration between Nigeria and Germany. “The German Embassyin Nigeria has the Goethe Institute, which supportsculturalactivities. Wehavecome a long way with Germany in terms of social and cultural interactions.
“But, what we are pushing hard at the moment is the idea of returning our stolen art works and artefacts to Nigeria. When you go to some public museums in Germany, you will come across Benin Bronzes, Ife artworks and a number of other cultural identities that were taken away illicitly from Nigeria. We must continue to demand that they be returned because this is at the centre of the identity crisis that we sometimes face as African.”
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