Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ambassaddor Sanders' Remarks at The College and Career Fair 2008

Remarks of United States Ambassador to Nigeria
Ms. Robin Renée Sanders

College and Career Fair

Rosa Parks Center
Tuesday, October 28, 2008- 3:00 PM

  • Prof. Nuhu Yaqub, Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja
  • Uno Adeniji, General Manager, Government Relations, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
  • Ibe Udobi, Manager, Government Relations, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
  • Dr. Ekwere, Rector, Abuja Polytechnic
  • Dr. Jamila Shuane, Deputy Director for Tertiary Institutions, Federal Ministry of Education
  • Emmanuel Orisejorfor, Stateside representative for North Carolina University
    Representatives of financial institutions, professional bodies and other educational partners
  • Members of the press
  • Prospective students
  • All protocols observed.

Welcome to our graduate-level College and Career Fair. This is the second year that we are offering an open event specifically targeting prospective graduate students. There has been tremendous growth in the number of Nigerians studying in the U.S. over the past decade. However, the numbers for graduate students have not grown as quickly as the undergraduate level, prompting us to reinforce our efforts to get information on programs, processes, and financial assistance for higher degree studies out to prospective candidates.

One of our Mission’s top priorities is helping Nigerians invest in their fellow citizens. Education is a critical component of this investment. Most of the programs on which we partner with the government of Nigeria are focused on education delivery systems – strengthening schools and policies, and improving people’s access to quality education. But we recognize that a good education can have an impact well beyond school systems. If you go on to seek an advanced degree, whether in public health, engineering, business administration, or diplomacy, you will be better placed to help Nigeria achieve its full potential.

Seeking a degree in the U.S. will offer you a high quality education, but the study abroad experience translates into so much more. Living in a foreign culture, learning the different expectations and practices of the education system in that country, will help you grow and develop in ways that would not have been possible had you stayed in your familiar home environment.

If you ultimately choose to study abroad, you will become a representative of your country and culture in the Unites States. The people you come in contact with during your time in the U.S. are likely to learn more about Nigeria from you than from any other source. When you return to Nigeria, you may be the greatest authority in your neighborhood on things American. But more importantly, you have an important duty to return to Nigeria and play a key role in its development.

It is something you owe to your nation and to your family. You will be, in effect, a bridge between our two countries.

I hope you will avail yourselves of the opportunity to use the services of our Educational Advising Center. The team here can provide advice on school selection, standardized testing, applications, and financial aid. We hope these tools will help you achieve your goals. I wish you the best of luck as you start on this journey.

Before I close, I would like to express a special thanks to the partners who have provided the support to make this event possible: Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NICON Luxury Hotel, Pen and Pages Nigeria LTD, Bratim, and United Bank for Africa (UBA).

Thank you.