From Mariam Sanni, Abuja
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny Echono, has urged Britain to reposition and strengthen the Commonwealth so that the organisation can play the critical role expected of it in the emerging competitive world, especially in the light of its desire to leave the European Union.
Echono emphasized that if well positioned, the Commonwealth will fill the vacuum that will be created in the British economy in an event Britain finally leaves the European Union.
“The UK is moving out of the European Union and it should take the Common wealth very seriously so that whatever it loses in the EU will be compensated for within the Commonwealth system” Echono said.
The Permanent Secretary also called on Britain to create more Commonwealth scholarship opportunities as this is crucial to the accelerated growth, stable polity, social change and improved quality of life of member states.
He stated these in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the 2020/2021 nomination interview for Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowship Plan, (CSFP).
While inaugurating the interview panels and declaring the selection process open, Echono urged candidates to take the process serious as they were competing with candidates from other countries of the commonwealth.
He advised recipients to positively project the image of the country by adhering to the stipulations of the award.
The Permanent Secretary reminded prospective candidates of the need to return to their country after studies to make impactful contributions to the development of the country.
In her remarks, Director of the Federal Scholarship Board, Mrs. Njadiwo Hammanjoda Asta, stressed that the selection process is merit-based as candidates will go through intense screening processes, conducted by independent panelists.
Njadiwo said that the process is very competitive as over 4000 candidates applied for the 2020/2021 Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan, (CSFP).
The interview panels made up of erudite professors and scholars will work for the next five days to come up with the best qualified candidates who will be subjected to the third stage of the selection process.
The date for stage three of the process will be announced at the end of the interview process.