ES Receives Polish Ambassador to Nigeria Dec 13, 2022 | news A two-man delegation from Poland, led by the Polish Ambassador to Nigeria, Her Excellency, Joanna Tarawska and the Alumni President Polish Institute, Dr. Nghargbu K’tso, last Wednesday, visited the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC) Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni, MFR, FNAL, in his office.Welcoming the team, which came with a Proposal to foster close collaboration in the area of university education, Prof. Rasheed expressed his delight at the visit, stating that NUC is the only agency vested with the authority in the Constitution to direct and regulate universities in Nigeria.He said the Commission just celebrated its 60th Anniversary with the idea of taking some stocks and charting a way forward into the future. He told the delegation that Nigeria today has 220 Universities which comprised Federal, State and Private with over seventy two (72) thousand academics.In her remarks, The Polish Ambassador said she has been in Nigeria since 2018 and had enjoyed a good cultural tie with Nigeria and many of its citizens. Her Excellency, Joanna Tarawska said she has been doing everything in her powers to foster a relationship between the Polish Embassy and the Nigerian Universities.As part of her efforts, she had encouraged Nigeria to establish a division of African Studies so that Academics sent by Poland to Africa could find it easy to adapt.She pointed out that Bayero University Kano (BUK) was one of the prominent universities in the country that has a long standing ties with Poland, noting that Poland used to have a community of Academics within the Nigerian universities, but due to instability in the system they returned to Poland.Owing to some fundament challenges she attributed, made it very difficult for Polish students to come to Nigeria to study, but expressed her desire to see universities in the two countries co-operate.The Polish Ambassador stated that Nigerian degrees received due recognition in Poland and expects the same reciprocation in Nigeria. She explained that Poland has some MoUs at Federal Ministry of Education (FME) awaiting the necessary attention. The ambassador, therefore, encouraged the NUC to reach out to the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) to facilitate the signing of the MOU between both countries.According to her, she had been able to sign one MOU and such information would be available for further interaction and co-operation between the two countries.Elaborating on the purpose of the visit, the President of the Polish Alumni, Dr. Nghargbu K’tso, who noted he was in the NUC for the second time, spoke about the academic cooperation between Nigerian and Polish institutions.He said they have an alumni association whose role bordered on support to the educational aspiration of the two countries.He expressed delight that Nigerian Universities have been cooperating with more than 20 Polish Universities, noting that the Polish Government under NABA scholarship scheme offers African students especially sub-Sahara students over 250 scholarships annually, with Nigeria taking more than 100 of this scholarship scheme. Dr. K’tso said, as of today in Poland, Nigeria has more than 600 students studying at different levels, representing the country very well and also helping to build ties and deepen the relationship.He said he was a product of Polish astute scholar, a late Scientist, who was in Nigeria for 43 years and laboured tirelessly and traversed between the University of Jos (UniJos) and the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and the Educational industries, to bring to bear the impact of Polish education on Nigerians and the Nigerian educational system.The President of the Polish Institute said he was the first black person in the field of Medical Geology, courtesy of the Polish Scientist. He revealed that they have been able to establish the first Centre for Medical Geology research of the world at the Nassarawa State University, Keffi.He also said they were able to put together the first Institute of European Studies in Africa, with the assistance of the Polish Embassy.The President stated that they have signed MOUs in the area of mining, geo-sciences, Engineering and Architecture. He further stated with pride that, Poland as a country has a very deep academic culture with its universities among the top 1000 universities in the World.He disclosed that university education in Poland could be described as cheap and affordable for Nigerian students willing to study, with the exchange rate of 96 Naira to the Polish currency.Dr. K’tso explained that if Nigeria could broaden the horizon especially through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) and other institutions that support training like Petroleum Training Development Fund (PTDF), Nigeria and its students could just get more value for their money.He said the Alumni are ready to render any service to help improve the educational sector in the country.Responding to issues raised, Prof. Rasheed thanked the Ambassador for her brilliance and articulated assessments.He said NUC had a good working relationship with many Polish scholars and has collaboration with the UNESCO. He pointed out that NUC frown at any university signing MoU without involving the National Universities Commission.Against this backdrop, NUC scribe stressed that any MoU signed by a Nigerian university with any foreign country without the knowledge of the NUC should be considered illegal, because by law NUC remained the only regulatory body empowered by law to regulate the university system. He argued that the reason NUC was interested was to ensure Nigerian universities fulfill their obligation as entered into in the MoUs, to avoid universities signing and dumping MoUs afterwards.Prof. Rasheed explained that the establishment of Medical Geology without a robust medical programme in the university would not stand as it was a requisite for a university to have medicine programme before venturing into such engagement in Nigeria. The NUC Scribe requested for a report from the Alumni President of Polish Institute on the kind of MoUs and collaborations that was intended between the two countries.Prof. Rasheed informed Her Excellency that the NUC launched its committee on Transnational Education which was performed by the Chief of Staff to the President Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.He, therefore, promised that a progress report of the Transnational Education (TNE) would be sent to the Chief of Staff to the President of Nigeria for their notification.He therefore, expressed his elation that the presence and involvement of the Polish Ambassador to Nigeria will deepen ties for both countries.At the meeting were the Deputy Executive Secretary (DES), Administration, Mr. Chris Maiykai; Deputy Executive Secretary (DES), Management Support Services, Mr. Sam Onazi; the Directors of Human Resources (DHR), Mr. Boniface Odum and Executive Secretary’s Office (DESO), Mr. John Mairafi Ahmadu as well as the Ag. Director, Public Affairs, Alh. Haruna Lawal Ajo.