Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingjian, today 1 March, expressed his intention to undertake a degree course in the Institute of African and Asian Studies at the University of Calabar.
Pingjian made this known at the university’s International Conference Center where he presented scholarships valued at N100,000 each to 47 students of the institution.
He explained that the scholarship programme was scheduled to be done annually, while noting that being a part of UNICAL opportune him to share China’s success story as he learns more about Africa.
He further said the event was to commemorate 47 years of diplomatic relations between Nigeria and China.
As regards his choice, UNICAL, he said it was based on feasibility and honest leadership, and also noted that it is among leading second-generation universities in Nigeria.
According to him, “The vice-chancellor wants this programme to be annually, but as Chinese ambassador, I want to give him and the management team one condition — I want to send application to be a member of the Institute of African and Asian Studies of the university.
“We have very good reasons to be here annually. From when this university started in the ’70s, from the records I have, it was founded with only about 800 students, but today, the number has grown to over 40,000. This is just one of the many achievements of this institution.
“The vice-chancellor knows so much about China and so we chose UNICAL to mark 47 years of Nigeria-China relations because of the honesty of the leadership and its feasibility.
“UNICAL is a leading second generation university in Nigeria; so, I’m impressed with the achievements so far.”
The vice-chancellor, Prof. Zana Akpagu, also commended the Chinese ambassador for choosing the institution for the event.