By Cecilia Ologunagba
New York, Dec. 21, 2022
The Consul General of Nigeria in New York, USA, Ambassador Lot Egopija, says the Consulate will facilitate the sister city relationship between the city of New York. and some cities in Nigeria to boost education.
A sister city or a twin town relationship is a form of legal or social agreement between two geographically and politically distinct localities for the purpose of promoting cultural and commercial ties.
Egopija told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York that the Consulate was already working with the Office of the Mayor of New York on exploring education exchange programmes in 2023.
“We are looking at using the sister city relationship between the city of New York, which is equivalent to a local government, on a partnership in the area of education.
“When that eventually happens, our children from local governments would have opportunity to interact with the New York city children in their schools.
“And probably we may also have an opportunity to have them probably come in here to see what they can benefit in terms of knowledge acquisition.
“Also, there will be exchange programmes with the teachers to see probably how they can better improve our own learning and vice versa,’’ he said.
According to him, we cannot say everything good comes from here. We also have our own good sides for them to also learn from and interface with our students.
Egopija said the Consulate was also getting other cities within the New York jurisdiction to collaborate with some local governments in Nigeria.
“This is open to every local government in Nigeria provided they have what it takes, and we only need to work together to see how we can marry or match-make this sister city and this local government.”
In addition to education, he said the two cities could also enter agreements in other areas such as health, technology and capacity building.
“We’ve written to a couple of cities and we also encouraged Nigerians and those in diaspora to also come into this programme.
“We encourage them to come into this programme and encourage their own communities to see what they can leverage back to the communities,’’ he said.
Egopija explained further that sister city agreements would also cover technology transfer and capacity building.
“So, it will be a total package. We will work towards that. We want to see how we can leverage to get some of these things and have the technical know-how to train through that.
“I’m bringing in our people to get to know and also see how a city administration is run here and see how they can better improve their own local government administrations.
“Because if you’re having sister city relationship with a city here, a local government, the local government in Nigeria would definitely be meeting its counterparts and with that, they will improve, especially their system of governance,’’ he said.