A group of Nigerian officials are visiting New Brunswick this week to improve their public administration skills with the help of Rutgers University.
The students, who hold jobs in both the public and private sector, respectively, in their home country, are enrolled in the Global Mini-MPA certification program through the Center for Executive Leadership in Government at Rutgers University.
They are here here through a partnership between the Nigerian government and the Division of Continuing Studies, which oversees the Center.
Angie E. McGuire, Assistant Director and Assistant Professor with the Division of Continuing Studies, said the Division worked in previous years with the Egyptian government, offering certification programs in Egypt taught by Rutgers staff.
Following the Egyptian revolution in 2011, the partnership ceased. Shortly thereafter, Nigerian government contacted Rutgers with an interest in having their citizens trained in the certification program, she said.
According to a release from Rutgers, the "Global Mini-MPA" program deals with policy implementation, and the skills needed to properly implement policies.
"Topics include constitutionalism and rule of law; urban policy and planning; financial management; decision making, and leadership," the release said.
It is tailored to suit the needs and background of the students involved, McGuire said.
The students arrived on Dec. 9 and will stay on campus through Dec. 14 at the Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center.
The course was condensed into a week for the Nigerian visitors, McGuire said, but usually, it's offered over a longer period of time, and includes a larger group of students.
"Every session has really related to what is ongoing in Nigeria," said Adeola Nurudeen Durodola, 34.
The information learned this week will be brought back to their co-workers in their respective fields, and be spread even further, he said.
The governments of the United States and Nigeria have similarities between them, said James Chukwudi Awam, 31.
Nigeria returned to a democratic state in 1999, following three decades of military rule.
"Democracy is nascent (in Nigeria)," Awam said.
By studying the methods of effective government in the U.S., those best practices can be applied in Nigeria, he said.
Editor's note: The Rutgers University Division of Continuing Studies also writes a blog for New Brunswick Patch. Click here to learn more about the Division's programs.