*Directorate of Technical Aid Corps,DTAC,Abuja, Nigeria.*
*Nigeria Advances its Big-brother Role in Africa as DG of DTAC, Agency ‘s Officials Meet Volunteers, Education Minister, University Authorities,Others in Kampala, Uganda*
The Director-General, Directorate of Technical Aid Corps, Rt. Hon. ( Dr.) Yusuf Buba Yakub, has said that the Technical Aid Corps Scheme remains an instrument of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy through which the President Tinubu Administration wishes to continue to deploy soft-power diplomacy to countries of Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific in line with the Nigeria’s President 4-D Agenda.
Rt. Hon. Buba, who stated this in Kampala, Uganda,Tuesday, when he met separately with Volunteers serving in the TAC Scheme,Vice Chancellors of Universities hosting the Volunteers in Uganda as well as the Hon.Minisiter of Education and Sports in that country,also emphasized the enormous advantages that soft power wields over coercion in nation-to-nation relations.
Buba, who also observed that strong bilateral ties and relations had existed between Nigeria and Uganda even before the establishment of Country Missions in their both capital cities, reminded his diverse audiences that Nigeria recognized early its immense potential in human and natural resources and, therefore ,took an Afro-centric stance to contribute to the development of sister- African countries as well as countries with sizable black populations across other continents in what is generally known as South-South co-operation.
He said the provision of manpower to such African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries was a deliberate move that was meant to not only bridge the gap in capacities lacking in those nations, but to develop the needed skills among such host nations towards the attainment of self-reliance.
“Uganda and Nigeria have come a long way.I recall that the first Chief Justice of Uganda,Justice Udo Udoma, was an eminent Nigerian jurist from today’s Cross River State.It is no wonder,therefore,that when the TAC Scheme came on board with the establishment of the Directorate of Technical Aid Corps in 1987, Uganda became one of the first countries to receive Volunteers and benefit from the Scheme in 1988.
“About 35 years after,I am happy to observe that we have continued to deploy quality Volunteers to Uganda. These Volunteers, from what we have gathered in the course of this visitation and from what University authorities have, specifically, told us,have continued to discharge their duties with dexterity and knowledge and have been adjudged by all as worthy Ambassadors of the Nigerian nation,who have exemplified character, conduct and learning wherever they are currently serving, ” the erstwhile federal lawmaker noted.
Earlier, during interactions with the Volunteers at the Nigerian Mission in Kampala, where they had gathered to receive the DTAC delegation,most of the 75 Volunteers that range from Senior Lecturers,Associate Professors and Professors,among whom are Faculty Deans,Heads of Departments and Directors of Schools in the four different Universities where they are serving in Uganda, expressed appreciations for the benefits the TAC Scheme has provided to them to contribute to global development and to return to Nigeria better.
Also in the course of interactions with the Vice Chancellor of Kampala International University,Prof.Mouhamad Mpezamihigo,that of Canvendish University, Prof. John Mogisha as well as Associate Prof. Ismail Simbwa Gyagenda of Islamic University in Uganda( IUIU) and the representative of the Vice Chancellor of Kabale University, who is also Dean , Faculty of Engineering in the institution, Prof.Moses N. Twesigye-Omwe, the DTAC delegation was enthralled at the level of encomiums poured on the TAC Scheme Volunteers in the four citadels of higher learning where they are serving. The authorities of the various schools, it must be noted, recommited to receiving more Volunteers apart from expressing the wish to retain some of them whose two-year service tenure are nearing completion.
While also visiting the Hon. Minister for Education and Sports, the DTAC delegation was elated to note that the Hon.Minister of State for Primary Education,a Medical Consultant,Dr.Joyce Kalucha,who stood in for her colleague in the Higher Education section of the Ministry headed by Janet Museveni,the nation’s First Lady that also doubles as the substantive Minister of Education and Sports, was herself trained by a Nigerian Volunteer in the TAC Scheme in the early years of the Scheme.
The Ugandan team, which apart from the Hon.Minister of State, comprises the Commissioner for Higher Education,Timothy Musoke Ssejjoba;the Director,Higher Education;Dr.Sophia Museene and Mpyangu Godfrey Andrew, Senior Assistant Secretary,among others,informed the Nigerian delegation of ongoing reforms in the Ugandan education sector. The team requested support from DTAC in order to bridge the identified gaps in such areas as:Oil and Gas Engineering/Technology, Aviation Engineering/Technology, the Sciences, Artificial Intelligence, among other areas.
The DTAC delegation,led by the DG, Rt. Hon.Buba, and comprising Amb.Mohammed Mohammed,Director of Programmes; Mr.Idris Saidu,Ag.Director, Finance and Accounts and Mrs Rahila Ayuba Kaura,Ag.Director, Monitoring and Evaluation,also met with the Permanent Secretary, Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs,where commitment was also elicited for more collaboration, co-operation and strengthening of existing ties in areas relevant to the TAC Scheme.
* Please,see Pictures 1 to 10 of the Events