14 Nigerian TAC volunteers sign contract with Ugandan varsities

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Amb. Yusuf Tuggar, Minister of Foreign Affairs

A total of 14 Technical Aid Corps (TAC) volunteers from Nigeria have been contracted by universities in Uganda, following their meritorious services in the institutions.

The affected volunteers served in the universities for the two-year TAC programme.

The Director-General (DG), Nigeria Technical Aid Corp (NTAC), Dr Buba Yabub, made this known on Tuesday in Abuja.

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He spoke during a debriefing ceremony for 39 returning TAC volunteers who served in Uganda and Guinea Bissau.

He said that most countries were not willing to let go of the Nigerian volunteers because of the positive impact of the services they rendered to their host communities.

“This is why NTAC always send out the best. When we do our selection we always pick out the first 11 just like in football, because we really want to impact the lives of our sister countries,” he said.

The DG recalled that a volunteer who served earlier introduced a new department in the university he served and pioneered it successfully.

“Yes, anytime we receive volunteers we always hear the countries do not want you to return because Nigerians are very special, they are hardworking,  discipline people, who put in their best wherever they find themselves.

“So nobody will like you to come back because of your quality,” he added.

He said,  “When I visited Uganda, I said if they want to sign a new contract with you, it is welcome.

“I know about 12 to 14 volunteers in Uganda have signed a contract with that country with different universities and they are currently working there,’’ he added.

Buba said it was not a bad idea for Nigerians to seek greener pastures through legal employment abroad, but added that it should be done in a dignified manner.

“The last two batches that came back as I promised when we came back from Uganda, the first set, we facilitated their visas and supported them.

“In Nigeria we have a lot of manpower, that’s why you hear everywhere that there’s unemployment.

“So, if anybody is talking about fleeing the country a.k.a. “JAPA’’, it is not a bad thing, but we should do it well, so that when you go out there you will have dignity.”

The DG said one of NTAC’s new initiative going forward, would be to export Nigeria’s abundant manpower talents to other countries.

“There are countries that make their revenue through selling of their manpower, and the manpower we have in Nigeria is in abundance.

“So one of our new initiative that we will table going forward, is to see how we will harness our manpower and send out our experts to go out with dignity, with their families, and earn money for themselves and the country,’’ he said.

Speaking earlier, the teams lead volunteers from Uganda and Guinea Bissau applauded Nigerian government for the opportunities given to them.

Abubakar Abdulkarim, the team lead for Uganda TAC volunteers, said as senior professionals with high skills, they had contributed to the university system in that country.

“We have contributed immersely not only to the country alone, but to the entire East-Africa. Some of us graduated Masters students and Phd students.

“We are back home and we will continue to contribute our quota to the service of Nigeria as we have also developed and increased our knowledge through impacting others,’’ he said.

Dr Simon Achegbani, a Paediatrician and team lead for the TAC volunteers in Guinea Bissau, said that they offered selfless medical services to the people of that country.

“We faced some challenges starting from the weather that was extremely hot,  and we did not have suitable accommodation that was well ventilated.

“Delay of our payment to meet our basic needs was also a challenge, but all in all, we are here and we thank the federal government, you sir, and Nigeria for this opportunity,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the debriefing was to enable NTAC to learn from the experiences of the TAC volunteers. (NAN)

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