Rufa’I said this at a reception held in honour of the French Language Project Manager, Mr. Jean-Phillipe Roy.
She said that being multi-lingual in the 21st Century was essential as it helps individuals to operate more effectively in the international community.
“For Nigeria, the study of French language is quite key, considering the fact that our neighboring countries are French-speaking. Apart from the English language, French language is one of the major international languages,” she said.
She said Roy came to Nigeria in 2009 under the second Bilateral Agreement between Nigeria and French.
The minister noted that the French had worked hard to ensure that various components of the project received due attention.
Rufa’i lauded his contributions to the reform of the UTME for 2014 in addition to the scholarships awarded to 16 teachers of French language to study in France for one month.
She said the project manager’s contributions included supply of books to schools, award of Master’s degree in French as a foreign language and supply of DVD and CD player to the project office.
The minister lauded the support of the French Government to the NigerianFrench Language Village, Badagry, Lagos; and the Regional Network of French Language centres in Africa.
She also commended the Association of French Language Teachers, and noted the proposed handing over of the project vehicle to the ministry for the monitoring of the teaching and learning of the language.
“Nigeria and France have come a long way in their relationship. It is a relationship built on mutual respect, cooperation and interest. I wish to assure you that the ministry will continue to be committed to the teaching and learning of French Language in Nigeria and sustenance of the cordial relationship,’’ she said.
Roy praised the collaboration between the Federal Government and the French Government.
“Since I have been here, you have shown a lot of interest in what we have been trying to do in terms of decision-making in critical issues and, with your help, we have been able to keep the project on the right track,” he said.
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