The United States Consulate, Lagos, on Wednesday, inaugurated a USA Education Advisory Centre in Ibadan to provide opportunities for Nigerian students to study in America.
While stating that there are more than 14,000 Nigerians studying in America, the consulate’s Public Affairs Officer, Stephen Ibelli, made it clear that the quality and high standard of American education would benefit them with wonderful skills and knowledge with which they would in turn help their home country.
Ibelli pointed out that the purpose of the centre is to advise and help students to understand the U.S. education process so that they could apply to American universities.
The Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Olasunkanmi Olaleye commended the initiative from the U.S. government saying it is the first of the additional four service centres in Nigeria.
“It is going to be an education advisory service centre for students in Oyo State and the entire South-West zone who may want to study in universities in America.
“A lot of our students have been denied visa because they didn’t know what to do.
“So this will be the first port of call for every student who wants to travel to the U.S. and that is the first advantage that we have here. They don’t have to go to Lagos again, they can do it here.
“When they have all the information and equip themselves with it, they can then apply for their visa in Lagos or Abuja.
“Another thing is that this will give us the opportunity to benefit from the American government’s educational programmes, particularly in terms of getting scholarships from their universities, especially for our straight A’s students wanting to go to the university straight from secondary school.
“Those who want to proceed for post-graduate studies too can benefit from American university scholarships,” he said.
Education U.S.A Adviser, U.S. Consulate-General, Lagos, Chinenye Uwadileke, opined that the opportunities attached with education in U.S. can not be over-emphasised.
“I help students navigate the process of studying in the U.S. and we are really excited about this centre because we envisage that the number of Nigerians studying in the U.S. will increase from about 13,600 to over 16,000 in the coming years.
“We are hopeful that the services offered by Education U.S. will benefit students, not only of Oyo State but in the entire South-West zone,” she said.
Adefemi Bucknor-Arigbede, Education U.S.A Adviser for Education USA, Ibadan said the centre aims to bring about an alternative international study route to the people.
There had only been two education centres in Nigeria – the U.S. Consulate in Lagos and the U.S. Embassy in Abuja.
“So bringing the centre to Ibadan will make it easier, especially for people in the South-West zone to have accurate, reliable and comprehensive information about studying in the U.S.,” she said.