The Minister for Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, said on Wednesday in Abuja that Nigerian youths are not inferior to their international counterparts due to their exceptional educational skills.
The minister said this at the 2022 Pre-Departure Orientation for over 200 young Nigerians who had received the postgraduate scholarship offered by the European Union (EU) which would run concurrently under its Erasmus+ programme.
Dare, who was represented by Mr Olufemi Adeagbo, Special Adviser to the minister, says he was delighted by the initiative of the bloc to engage young Nigerians to pursue their education in Europe.
“I am even more delighted to know that a record number had been awarded the prestigious Erasmus scholarship to study in various EU universities this year.
“The uninitiated and for those that might not know this programme provides opportunities for over four million participants to study, train, get experience and do some volunteering.
“These scholarships are in the fields of education, training, youths in sports from 2021 to 2027, placing a very strong focus on social inclusion, grid and digital transition and also promoting young people’s participation in democratic life.
“All these form the core of my mandate as the minister of youths and sports development in Nigeria.
“I, therefore, use this opportunity to wish the Nigerians beneficiaries of these programmes the very best of luck and they make the most of this opportunity,’’ he said.
Ms Samuela Isopi, EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said that the bloc was proud of Nigerian performance of emerging in the second position after Pakistan.
She added that Nigerian youths have great potential to be in the second position with over 200 awardees coming from six positions from last year at the Erasmus programme.
Isopi said the beneficiaries of the 2022 Erasmus postgraduate scholarship would have the opportunity to visit about six countries in Europe for their master’s programmes.
“The great potential of EU and Nigeria is the people-to-people relationship by building the future for the youths through education.
“Education gives value to the lives of young individuals and this is what the Erasmus+ programme offers to connect people around the world to become better in their various fields of endeavours,’’ she said.
Also speaking, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, lauded the Erasmus programme and also the awardees for being selected.
Adamu advised the students to use the opportunity and make something for themselves, adding that they should not take the opportunity for granted.
The minister, who was represented by Mrs Ndajiwo Asta, the Director of, the Federal Scholarship Board, said that the initiative by the bloc was laudable.
“It avails both students, teachers and educational staffs to benefit from the postgraduate programme.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe.
It has an estimated budget of 26.2 billion euros.
The 2021-2027 programme places a strong focus on social inclusion, the green and digital transition, and promoting young people’s participation in democratic life.