The Indian government has so far trained 529 Nigerians under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) in the past three years.
Mr. Abhay Thakur, High Commissioner of India, disclosed this at the 55th anniversary of the ITEC Day in Abuja.
He said in the 2019/2020 ITEC year, the Indian government is offering about 14,000 scholarships to partner countries with Nigeria having 250 slots.
“I am happy to inform you that during the ongoing ITEC year 2019-2020, government of India is offering around 14,000 scholarships to the partner countries, out of these, 250 slots are available for Nigeria, 32 for Cameroon, 10 for Benin, 5 for Chad and 5 for ECOWAS.
”In the last 3 years Nigeria has utilised 529 ITEC slots, Benin 20, Cameroon 90 and Chad 21.
“I would add that the number of slots can be increased further if we see significant, say about 80per cent utilisation of existing ITEC slots.
“Since the inception of ITEC programme in 1964 more than 200,000 professionals from across the world has participated in various training programme.
“I am particularly pleased to inform that, against the target announced at the India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) in New Delhi in October 2015 that India will train 50,000 people in different areas.
“We have already trained more than 40,000 persons in four years. We had also made a commitment of USD 10billion in Lines of Credit to Africa and we have crossed 6.5billion.
“I feel delighted that we have been able to add much substance to our capacity building assistance to Africa through the ITEC programme,” he said.
The envoy said short term and long term degree scholarships have been added to the ITEC programme under the Africa – Specific IAFS scholarship scheme, as well as educational programmes.
Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi said that India and Nigeria have gone a long way in their diplomatic relations since the pre-colonial independence of Nigeria.
Magashi, who was represented by the Director, Air Force Affairs Department, Mr. Ashibel Utsu, said that most Nigerians born in the early 70s were delivered by Indian doctors and taught by Indian teachers.
”India and Nigeria have a lot in common in terms of our cultural diversity, population, size and general way of life.
”It is therefore encouraging that the friendship and goodwill that have existed between both nations are being sustained through the programme and other collaborations from Nigeria.
”I sincerely commend the Indian government for these efforts and the annual hosting of the ITEC day, which brings alumni together to share their various experiences,” he said.