By Maureen Okon
The Directorate of Technical Aid Corps (DTAC) on Sunday received 23 Technical Aid Corps (TAC) Volunteers sent to Uganda in November 2021, who returned back to Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports they were received by the Director-General (D-G) of DTAC, Dr Yusuf Yakub, at a de-briefing exercise to welcome them back home.
Also, the TAC volunteers were honoured with the certificate of service for for doing Nigeria proud in their host communities in Uganda.
Speaking at the ceremony, the DTAC boss said that the agency was excited with the volunteers in discharging their duties diligently in their host country.
He recalled, `’From what we have gathered in the course of our recent 4-day visitation to Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Seychelles, the authorities have specifically,extolled the diligent performances of the volumteers.
“They have continued to discharge their duties with dexterity and knowledge and have been adjudged by all as worthy Ambassadors of Nigeria, who have exemplified character, conduct and learning wherever they served.
“It is no wonder that when the TAC scheme came on board with the establishment of the DTAC in 1987, Uganda became one of the first countries to receive volunteers and benefit from the scheme in 1988.
“35 years after, I am happy to observe that we have continued to deploy quality volunteers to Uganda who has made us proud as parents,” he said.
Mr Temitope Ajai, Director, Policy Research and Statistics for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), said the de-briefing exercise was laudable, saying, “because it would avail the ministry to familiarise with the TAC volunteers’ experience in order to have a robust approach in the future,
“This means a lot for MFA, because the TAC Scheme is one of the important instruments of our foreign policy and that is why it is very important to the entire ministry.
“As well as the articulation of our foreign policy, so in terms of the de-briefing coming up, we believe is one of the best ways of accessing the impact of the scheme on the volunteers themselves.
“Also to give us the opportunity of knowing what their experience were at their primary places of assignment, also it will help us to develop a robust policy around the implementation of TAC Scheme, ‘’he said.
some of the volunteers told NAN about their encounters in Uganda in two years of their stay in that country.
Dr Sharon Igbinoba, an Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy said, “In the Kampla International University, the School of Pharmacy I served as the Dean, which back home I was the Vice-Dean but with the responsibility given to me as the dean .
“It helped me to perform well and to put structures on ground to help the Faculty, if I could show you the comments of students and members of staffs on my phone.
“It shows how we as a people have impacted the lives of the Ugandans through our soft-power diplomacy, and that is what makes us the giant of Africa,’’ she said.
Dr Ibrahim Abubakar, a Senior Lecturer, served as Assistant Dean and Associate Dean of Research Facility of Biomedical Sciences at Kampala International University
Abubakar also the team lead of the TAC volunteers, applauded the DTAC boss’s initiative of binging all the volunteers back home at a time.
He added that when they left Nigeria in November 2021, most of them were wondering what they could do to make an impact in their host communities.
“I must say, when we left for this programme in 2021, a lot of us were wondering how can we contribute and the need for the programme , but having gone there, most of us have served in various capacities in our institutions.
“The people you’re looking at are deans, association deans, directors and resourceful people who have served the nations very well in their host community and had contributed immensely, and that is highlighted in the interest of our host countries wanting some of us to go back.
“I want to commend the director-general for a well organised programme , because in a long time, this is the first time we are having a de-briefing exercise where everyone is coming back home in one day,’’ Abubakar said.
Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani