The Federal Government has accepted offers by the Turkish authorities to set up new schools and hospitals in Nigeria.
Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, confirmed this in a special feature tagged ‘Key Takeaways from President Muhammadu Buhari’s four-day engagement in Turkey’.
The government of Turkey, on July 28, 2016, had alerted the Federal Government on the existence of institutions in Nigeria owned by suspected “terrorists” and demanded that the facilities be shut down.
Hakan Cakil, Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, who disclosed this when he received, Shehu Sani, the vice chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, said the owners of the schools allegedly sponsored the July 15, 2016 failed coup in Turkey.
Cakil said the institutions, which ranged from schools to hospitals, were allegedly owned by the Fethullah Gulen Foundation, adding that similar schools established in Turkey had been shut down.
Shehu, however, stated that a new investor, the Maarif Foundation, for education was introduced to the Nigerian delegation to take up the establishment of schools and hospitals in Nigeria.
He disclosed that a delegation from the foundation would visit Nigeria to commence the process of registration as well as following the procedures of establishing the new schools.
“The two countries agreed to expand cooperation in exchange of scholars, exchange of students and exchange/sharing of ideas, skills and education technology, and to improve scholarships for Nigerians to study in Turkey,” he added.
The presidential aide revealed that Nigeria and Turkey also agreed to resolve the issues relating to Nigerian students in Turkish universities that were facing exclusion due to visa challenges.
He said: “Nigeria and Turkey have equally agreed to strengthen and promote investments in health institutions and this, as promised by the president, will proceed quickly.
“That is as soon as the details of the various agreements reached in the bilateral discussions are laid on his table.”
On defence, the presidential spokesman said the two countries agreed to strengthen defence and military cooperation initiated a few years ago.
“This had already led to the establishment of the Defence section in the Turkish Embassy, Abuja in 2013 and Nigeria’s Defence section in Ankara in 2016.