Samuels Isopi, European Union ‘s ambassador to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African states (ECOWAS), has cautioned Nigerians planning to ‘Japa’ to Europe without employable skills to desist from doing so, as it will only bring them suffering and pain. Japa is a colloquial word for migration.
Instead of migrating as stow away or via other illegal means, the ambassador is urging young Nigerians to take advantage of the numerous educational opportunities existing in EU countries, that will enable them to travel legitimately and have a good life.
The ambassador, who made the call in her address during the “Study In Europe Fair” which kicked off on Wednesday in the commercial city of Kano, said that Europe is ready to receive young Nigerians interested in studying in the region.
She disclosed that the idea of staging the fair in the state, was borne out of the desire to strengthen the bilateral relationship existing between the regional body, and the Sub-national entities in the Northwest part of Nigeria.
“The EU team is delighted to stage the Study In Europe Fair in Nigeria here. This is the first time that this event is being organised in the state. Kano was chosen because it is the melting pot of the various cultures and peoples.
“The state is also one of the sub-national entities with the largest population of young Nigerians that requires good education that will make them an active contributor to the socio-economic and political development of Nigeria.
“At this fair, we have several educational institutions, and national educational bodies exhibiting the various study opportunities for young Nigerians in the eight EU countries that are represented”, she stated.
According to her, the key objective of the fair was to scale up the potential of the cooperation between the participating EU countries and Nigeria, through showcasing study opportunities which the countries offer, which Nigerians can take advantage of.
The fair was also intended to create awareness that many of the countries in Europe offer various courses in the undergraduate, and postgraduate levels that are taught in English language, and to let young Nigerians know that studying in Europe exposes them to the best educational opportunities in the world.
The ambassador revealed that last year, about 800 talented and brilliant Nigerians benefited from the European Erasmus Program, and early this another 135 young Nigerians were also awarded EU study scholarships.
Samuela hinted that Nigeria was the top country in Africa that benefited from the award of scholarship, following countries such as India, and Pakistan, noting that the EU has in the same vein, floated an educational scheme known as ‘Horizing Europe’, which is a special window African and Nigerian, researchers to take advantage of the offer,.instead of Japaing.
In his address, Abdulsalam Gwarzo, Kano state deputy governor, who represented the state governor, commended the ambassador, and the EU team for bringing the educational fair to the state, noting that it is an indication of the commitment of the regional body to development of the state.
The educational fair had in attendance the Finland, Netherlands, and Belgium ambassadors, and the Spain, chief of mission, and Kano state commissioner for Higher Education, Yusuf Ibrahim.
The event was also attended by several prospects drawn from secondary schools in the state, as well as people seeking opportunities for higher education in EU countries.