By: Kebba AF Touray
The Federal Republic of Nigeria, through its Embassy in The Gambia has on Wednesday at its office in Fajara handed over 15 Technical Aid Corps Volunteers (TACV).
This according to the two countries will help boost academic excellence as it will ensure inculcation of quality and relevant knowledge in the students at The Gambia’s highest learning institution, UTG.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the TAC Director, Mr. Oduniyi Afolabi, said the program started in Nigeria in 1987 with the objective of supporting the friendly countries in the areas of academics.
“Pursuant to that the program had come to be the pillar and the cornerstone of United Nations for sustainable development growth which will continue until 2030. We deploy experts of various academic domains to boost the academic performance of the students”, he said.
He described the volunteers as the cream of the Nigerian academic domain and congratulated The Gambia for being one of the beneficiaries of this program and expressed hoped that with the volunteers, the problems facing Gambia’s academic sector will be a thing of the past.
He urged the volunteers to be law abiding and good ambassadors of Nigeria in The Gambia during the exercise of their duties and responsibilities. He expressed the issue of residential permits of the volunteers as their daunting challenge and called on the UTG Authorities and the Gambia Government to issue the volunteers with the permits to avert any possible harassment in the country.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of The Gambia, Professor Faqir Muhhamad Anjum while welcoming the volunteers, congratulated the Nigerian High Commissioner and team for an excellent job geared towards improving the standard of teaching at the UTG.
He also expressed appreciation and gratitude to the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the magnanimous support to the UTG in its University building and human resource development processes and assured the volunteers of their full support and cooperation.
“We have to bring change in this country through imparting high quality education which is the primary responsibility of the UTG and I hope that with collaboration, we will really bring change in the education sector of the University of The Gambia”, he said.
Nigerian High Commissioner to The Gambia, Oluwasegun Ibidapo-Obe expressed delight over the crusade which clearly shows their commitment to the strengthening of the cordial relationship between the two countries and the realisation of the new Gambia.
“When TAC was established as South-South cooperation affairs in Nigeria in 1987, it was a way for Nigeria to move from assistance in cash to brotherly needed Africa countries, Caribbean and Pacific countries to man power development. This is a laudable effort for Nigeria and appreciative efforts for The Gambia”, he said.
He, on behalf of Nigeria, congratulated The Gambia Government for the request and urged the TAC volunteers to exceed expectations and be law abiding to uphold the integrity of Nigeria and to further deepen the relations between Abuja and Banjul.