By Kayode Adeoti
Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows Alumni Association of Nigeria (COSFAN) has pledged its readiness to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Education by providing voluntary service to improve education thereby achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
President of the association, Barr Abiola Adimula, made this known in Abuja on Thursday when the association paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.
Adimula reiterated the association’s commitment in giving back to the society through its various scholarship scheme from the Nigerian and British governments.
According to her, the main objective of COSFAN is to promote and advance education, in order to create and inform the Nigerian society.
“We are committed to the promotion of scholarships by institutions of award to deserving Nigerians and to act as a think-tank in different need-based development issues in Nigeria and between Nigeria, UK and other Commonwealth countries, among others.
“Our programmes and activities are targeted towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in science and technology, strengthening health systems and capacity, promoting global prosperity and strengthening global peace, security and governance.
“Other areas of focus are strengthening resilience and response to crisis and access, inclusion and opportunity.
“In an effort to impact the Nigerian society, we are determined to provide voluntary services, to improve the education and other relevant sectors by making ourselves available to share our wealth of knowledge and professionalism.”
Adimula, however, pledged the association’s commitment to extend to the ministry the Commonwealth scholarship ‘project camp’ scheme for selected candidates.
She urged the minister to include the association in the list of nominating agencies for Commonwealth scholarship schemes saying this will help put Nigeria in advantage position to support assessment of candidates based on the UK Commonwealth development thematic areas.
She also called on government at all levels, development agencies, tertiary institutions of learning, parastatals and corporations, to avail themselves of the opportunity of the voluntary service offered by COSFAN.
Also, Director, Federal Scholarship Board, Hajiya Asta Ndajiwo, commended the initiative as it would put in place a very strong connection between the board and the Commonwealth scholars in addition to building a robust report of impact assessment of the scheme.
Responding, Malam Adamu promised to synergise with the association to render services that would help COSFAN in achieving their objectives.
Adamu, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, urged the association to also structure the loan scheme saying if well structured, it will make more impact than the scholarship.
He, therefore, said the ministry would work with the association as a veritable source of assistance to help grow the education sector and other relevant sectors of the economy.
COSFAN is a non-profit organisation consisting of eminent Nigerians who have enjoyed the sponsorship of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC), United Kingdom through the British Council in their respective academic pursuits from 1960 to date.
Among the newly elected executives are; Mr Taiwo Obe as Publicity Secretary, Cyril Akagwu and Vice President and Chidi Ezegwu as General Secretary.
Others are Aminu Ado as Treasurer/Financial Secretary, Mrs Helen Akinwande-Fidelis and Samuel Oyegunle as regional coordinators from South-West and North Central respectively.