Abuja – Malaysia’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. Datuk Lim Juay Jin, says 13,000 Nigerians are currently studying at various levels in educational institutions in Malaysia.
Datuk Lim made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday on the sideline of the flag hoisting ceremony to mark the 59th Independence anniversary of Malaysia.
The envoy said that Nigerian students in Malaysia made up most of the number of Africans studying in the country.
“For a relatively medium size country like Malaysia, we have 13,000 Nigerians studying at various levels in educational institutions in Malaysia and this is significant.
“Malaysian educational process is also a stepping stone for a lot of Nigerians who want to pursue their education further.
“Malaysia has been so attractive because the cost of studying in Malaysia is affordable and we do not compromise on standards.
“Also, the English-speaking environment makes it conducive for Nigerians to go to Malaysia.
“The people from Nigeria who have undergone and are undergoing studies in Malaysia are actually also promoting the bilateral relations in an informal way,” he said.
He also said that 456 Nigerian officials from various ministries, departments and agencies had participated in the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) since Nigeria joined the programme in 1981.
He added that 10 officials from various ministries and agencies had the opportunity to participate in the MTCP in 2015.
He said that the programme offered courses in areas of public administration, human resource development, management in various fields and diplomatic training.
He also explained that such partnerships served as a vehicle to promote people-to-people relations between both countries.
“These are the courses that Malaysia, within our capacity, offers to our fellow members of developing countries under the banner of South-South cooperation and they are all fully sponsored.
“The feedback received from these officials is that they enjoy the trips, in terms of course content and the overall exposure to the Malaysian culture and places of interest.
“This is a very good vehicle for promoting mutual understanding and enhance people-to-people relations.
“I and my colleagues here are the official representatives of the country to promote bilateral relations but they are also the key agents that play a significant role in propelling the relations ahead,” he said.
He said that the Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation Agreement (ESTCA) signed by Nigeria and Malaysia in 1990 was the “most significant” agreement between them.
He explained that the agreement fostered cooperation in the areas of economy, science and technology, culture and capacity building, which was one of the main components under the agreement.
In his earlier remarks, Datuk Lim said that the day marked 59th Independence Day of Malaysia from the British.
He said that theme of this year’s celebration “One heart, one soul” reflected the spirit of solidarity and understanding and Malaysia’s resolve to remain a peaceful and progressive country.