Written by Godfrey AKON

Nigeria partners Netherlands on educational development

The Nigerian Government has expressed interest to foster cooperation with the Kingdom of Netherlands on educational development.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny Echono, said the move would deepen the longstanding relationship of the two countries.

Echono, who spoke in Abuja when a team from the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, paid him a working visit, said Nigeria stands to gain a lot from the partnership.

According to statement by the Deputy Director of Press, Ministry of Education, Mr Ben Goong, Echono maintained that there were many areas the education sector require the intervention of investors.

While reiterating Nigeria's openness to investment in the sector, he urged the Dutch Government to consider partnering with its Nigerian counterpart in developing agricultural education, information and communication technology and vocational education.

He said the present administration was focused on harnessing the agricultural sector to ensure the development of the country, while ascribing the slow pace of the sector's growth to the use of obsolete technology and methods.

Echono also urged the Institute to explore ways of training Nigerians on more advanced agricultural methods like agricultural extension services, irrigation, green houses, amongst others, stating that the agricultural sector has huge potentials to move Nigeria to the league of developed counties.

He further solicited the assistance of the Dutch Government in advancing the growth and use of Information and Communication Technology, ICT, in the country.

According to him, the world is getting digitalized and there is need for the country to move with the trend as Nigerians have a lot to gain from its use. 

He also bemoaned the large number of uneducated youths in the country and urged the institute to consider supporting the drive of the present administration to encourage the acquisition of vocational education and skills.

He stressed that the acquisition of these skills will help curb unemployment in the country as well as encourage self-reliance.

Earlier, General Director of the Institute, Monika Sie Dhian Ho, said the team was sent by the Dutch Government to find areas of collaboration with the Nigerian government to help its developmental efforts. 

Ho said the Institute has the deadline of April to compile and submit its report.



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