The Indian government has trained 529 Nigerians under its India Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) in the past three years.
The Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Abhay Thakur, made this known during the 55 years anniversary celebration to mark the ITEC Day in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Mr. Thakur further disclosed said that the government of India is offering about 14,000 scholarships to the partner countries with Nigeria having 250 slots for 2019-2020.
“I am happy to inform you that during the ongoing ITEC year 2019-2020, government of India is offering around 14,000 scholarships to the partner countries, out of these, 250 slots are available for Nigeria, 32 for Cameroon, 10 for Benin, 5 for Chad and 5 for ECOWAS.
”In the last 3 years Nigeria has utilised 529 ITEC slots, Benin 20, Cameroon 90 and Chad 21.
“I would add that the number of slots can be increased further if we see significant, say about 80per cent utilisation of existing ITEC slots.
“Since the inception of ITEC programme in 1964 more than 200,000 professionals from across the world has participated in various training programme.
“I am particularly pleased to inform that, against the target announced at the India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) in New Delhi in October 2015 that India will train 50,000 people in different areas.
“We have already trained more than 40,000 persons in four years. We had also made a commitment of USD 10billion in Lines of Credit to Africa and we have crossed 6.5 billion.
“I feel delighted that we have been able to add much substance to our capacity building assistance to Africa through the ITEC programme,” he explained.
The envoy, however, noted that short term and long term degree scholarships have been added to the ITEC programme under the Africa- Specific IAFS scholarship scheme, as well as educational programmes.
The Nigerian Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi said that India and Nigeria has gone a long way in it diplomatic relations since the pre-colonial independence of Nigeria.
He recalled that most Nigerians born in the early 70s were delivered by Indian doctors and taught by Indian teachers.
”India and Nigeria has alot in common in terms of our cultural diversity, population, size and general way of life.
”It is therefore encouraging that these friendship and good will that has existed between both nations is being sustained through the programme and other collaborations from Nigeria.
”I sincerely commend the Indian government for these effort and the annual host of the ITEC day, which brings alumni together to share their various experiences,” he said.
The ITEC programmes is fully funded by the India Government annually.