By Ifeanyi Nwoko
Nigeria has dispatched 33 volunteers to Uganda and is set to deploy another 33 to Tanzania by next week, the Directorate of Technical Aid Corps (DTAC) has said.
Acting-Director General of the Technical Aid Corps, Shehu Mohammed, said shortly before the departure in Abuja on Friday that the move was in response to the humanitarian need to cushion the effects of the biting economic downturn resulting from COVID-19.
The volunteers, who are mainly university lecturers, were dispatched ceremoniously from the DTAC headquarters in a convoy of three luxury buses, en route to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
They are to assist in boosting the education sector of their host country for the next two years.
“The deployment is meant to strengthen the country’s educational system, as part of the grand masterplan of Nigeria for needy African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.
“Let it be known that the volunteers sent to Uganda had earlier responded to an advertisement placed by the DTAC on the 22nd of March 2021, with respect to the need for lecturers to help boost the Ugandan education sector.”
“These are the successful applicants who scaled through the rigorous screening process by the corps and consequently shortlisted for the all-expense paid foreign mission to Uganda, which is the second of its kind by the Government of Nigeria.”
“The volunteers’ welfare and sundry bills will be footed by the Nigerian government throughout their 2-years expedition in the African nation, so as to enable them to give their best to the government and people of Uganda,” he said.
He added that another batch of 33 Technical Aid Volunteers is billed to depart for Tanzania by next week, making it the third foreign support by Nigeria in a space of four months since January 2021.
He disclosed that a similar dispatch had already been made to the Republic of Benin in January 2021, which was officially the first Federal Government-sponsored foreign mission in the year 2021.
“Finally, in the words of Brad Henry, “no matter where you stand politically – even if you’re unsure of what your political ideology is – it is important to take part in the process of shaping our government.
“This is, therefore, a clarion call for all well-meaning Nigerians to support laudable government initiatives as this, to encourage the government to do more in the face of dwindling economic fortunes.
”Most importantly, the government should increase funding for foreign policies of this nature, so as to harvest the huge potentials in the continental market.” the director said.