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Unical VC to Fulbright Scholars: You are the future of Nigeria

By Ubong Inyang

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar( UNICAL) , Prof Zana Akpagu has described Fulbright Scholars as the future of Nigeria, saying that their wealth of knowledge is vital to the economic and educational development  of the country.

Prof Akpagu stated this during the 14th Annual Conference of the Fulbright Alumni Association of Nigeria ( FAAN) which held Then second paragraph add that d event was held at Unical senate chamber with the theme ' Nigeria's Economy in the 21st Century: Lessons from recession and Prospects for Re- orientation.
Unical VC, Prof. Zana Akpagu addressing FAAN members at the conference

The Vice Chancellor who further described Fulbright scholars as people with high intellectual capacity said the country is in dire need of their contributions to tackle the multifarious challenges bedevilling it.

He, however, said the theme of the conference was appropriate, stressing that recession in the country was caused by the relocation of tourist and industries out of the country.

Prof Akpagu also attributed the cause of recession to stringent and unfriendly government policies.

He said, " Recession was experienced in Nigeria when industries and tourists left the country due to unfavorable business environment caused by stringent government policies"

This came as he appreciated the National Organizing Committee of FAAN for granting UNICAL the hosting right of its conference, adding that the conference encourages beneficial exchanges of ideas which would in turn lead to educational and economic advancement.

Prof Akpagu also encouraged the Fulbright scholars to close ranks and work in unison in order to achieve maximum results adding that, " you are a special breed of people who occupies a special place in my heart. The country really needs you"

In his welcome address, National President of the Fulbright Association of Nigeria ( FAAN), Prof Adagba Okpaga commended the Vice Chancellor for welcoming them with open arms, stressing that he it shows that he is truly passionate about academic excellence.

He also thanked the Vice Chancellor for the tremendous support in making the conference a success, stating that posterity will always remember him for his good deeds and efforts in uplifting the standard of education.

Prof Okgaga said the Fulbright Program was aimed at increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other nations through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills.

He said FAAN is poised to collaborate with both government and other institutions as well as make proposals for research purposes.

The FAAN President said the association also intends to collaborate with her immediate communities.

He said that seminars, workshops, conferences, symposia, round tables community outreach, exhibitions and drama would be organized to sensitize people for cooperate development.

Prof Odagba who described Fulbright scholars as 'critical stakeholders' said their inputs will assist policy makers and practitioners of the Nigeria economy in designing lasting frameworks to promote development in all aspects of polity.

Also speaking, Coordinator of Fulbright United States Mission in Nigeria, Clemson Ayegbusi said Nigerian scholars are doing well in various areas of research even has he encouraged others to join the league of Fullbrighters.

He said the US mission is fully behind FAAN, saying that the program will help to promote political, economic, cultural and educational development.

Delivering the keynote, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Science, UNICAL, Prof Ndem Ayara Ndiyo identified the causes of recession to include clawless leadership, endemic corruption, and weak institutions.

Prof Ndiyo said Nigeria needs strong leadership and effective policy to diversify the economy hence the need for Fullbright Scholars to bring the wealth of experience to bear in this regard
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