By Cecilia Ologunagba
New Jersey, Sept. 20, 2023
The African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) Nigeria met with critical stakeholders in Princeton University, New Jersey, U,S. to attract investment into the Nigerian education system.
The meeting, aimed at building and bridging the skills-gap needed in promoting Nigeria’s economic potential to enhance experience sharing and exchange programme in education,
Also, it is focused on promoting the ongoing partnership in establishing the Nigerian School of Economics (NSE), among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting held on the sidelines of the ongoing 78th Session of the UN General Assembly witnessed signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among three critical key stakeholders.
The stakeholders are the Minister for Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, Vice Provost for International Affairs and Operations and Prof. of Politics, International Affairs and Economics, Aly Kassam-Remtulla and Founder and President of the African School of Economics (ASE), Leonard Wantchekon.
Mamman, at the signing of the MoU in New Jersey said the MoU’s highly significant and timely interventions would boost Nigeria’s education sector.
He assured that President Bola Tinubu has made education a key priority of his administration with plans to increase education budget up to 25 per cent of National budget from the current five percent.
“It gives me immense pleasure to be here at this important event – an event that heralds highly significant and timely interventions in Nigeria’s education sector.
“Nigeria is blessed with vast potentials in human talent, waiting for the opportunity to harness and nurture, the most important route being access to quality education.
“It is my humble aspiration that under my leadership of Nigeria’s education ministry, we plan to bridge the learning, development, and the resource gaps.
“The event of today therefore represents a seminal step towards these goals,’’ the minister said.
According to him, on all fronts, this is an exceptional period for us that must be fully and productively utilised.
Also speaking, the National Coordinator/ Chief Executive Officer, AUDA-NEPAD Nigeria, Gloria Akobundu, described the MoU between the Ministry of Education, ASE, and Princeton University as a most gratifying fruition of the aspirations of the ASE/AUDA-NEPAD alliance.
“For us at AUDA-NEPAD, the African School of Economics (ASE) mirrors our strong intent towards national and continental development, particularly through building knowledge, competencies, and local institutions.
“And we are working with ASE based on a mutual understanding of the aforementioned goal and the necessary paths to it, which is comprised of the following areas: Partnerships; Development; Economics; and Resource Mobilisation.
“It is my earnest hope that in the coming years, as we jointly unfold our plans for improving education in Nigeria, we will forge stronger ties between ourselves in the process, and most importantly, the objectives of our collaboration will be fully realized,” Akobundu said.
In a statement signed by Fatima Khan of Princeton, she described the MoU as thrilling, affirming that the university is eager to share her expertise as well as learn from counterparts in Nigeria, working together to make a meaningful impact on education and human capital development.
“We are thrilled to be part of this comprehensive MoU that brings together the Federal Ministry of Education in Nigeria, the African School of Economics (ASE), and Princeton University.’’
According to her, the scope and depth of this MoU reflect a remarkable commitment to advancing education and driving positive change in Nigeria.
“The collaboration encompasses a wide array of initiatives, from curriculum development and vocational education to research and policy formulation, all aimed at enhancing the quality and accessibility of education in the country.
“Princeton University is deeply committed to this partnership, and we recognize the tremendous potential it holds for the future of education in Nigeria.
“At Princeton, teaching and research is faculty-driven, and we believe in the power of knowledge and innovation to transform societies.’’
In addition, she said the university was eager to engage with her partners in the Federal Ministry of Education and ASE to take the next steps in implementing the initiatives outlined in this MoU.
“Our students and scholars are excited about the opportunity to collaborate closely on research, curriculum development, and capacity building.
“We are eager to share our expertise and learn from our counterparts in Nigeria, working together to make a meaningful impact on education and human capital development.
“The future holds great promise, and we look forward to the journey ahead as we collectively strive to elevate education in Nigeria and beyond.”