The beneficiaries have the highest CGPA in their respective disciplines and each was given N100,000 and a certificate of award by the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Zhou Pingjiang in the presence of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ibrahim Garba and other senior academic staff.
This is the second time for the Embassy to award such a scholarship to the best students of the university when Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Dr Zhou Pingjiang personally presented the awards to 47 best students at the university last year.
Presenting this year’s scholarship award to the students drawn from different faculties at a colorful ceremony at the Samaru Main campus of the university yesterday, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Zhou Pingjiang, said the Embassy initiated the scholarship to increasingly enhance the China-Nigeria strategic partnership.
The envoy, who was represented by the Charge d’affairs of the Embassy, Mr. Zhao Yong, said the programme christened ‘October 1st Scholarship for China-Nigeria Friendship’ was initiated by the Ambassador upon his deployment to Nigeria last year to encourage best students.
Yong, who described Ahmadu Bello University as one of the best universities in Nigeria and the one he heard most since his arrival in Nigeria upon his posting, said the scholarship was called ‘October 1st’ as that day is both China’s National Day and Nigeria’s Independence Day.
On the ties between Nigeria and China, the envoy said the friendship and cooperation between the two countries had delivered tangible benefits since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1971 and strategic partnership in 2005 in particular.
He said in terms of investments the accumulated China non-financial investment in Nigeria approached 2.8 billion dollars contributing significantly to local economy and job creation.
The Ambassador also said Nigeria is now China’s largest engineering contracted projects market, the second largest export market, the third largest trading partner and major investment destination in Africa.
In his brief remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ibrahim Garba, expressed gratitude to the Chinese government for recognizing the university as a world class academic institution by way of awarding scholarship to its students and other academic linkages through its Embassy in Nigeria and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).
Shortly after the scholarship award the envoy commissioned a new language laboratory and a China-Nigeria Friendship Pavilion garden all in ABU as part of efforts to enhance the relation between the university and the Embassy.