‘SNEPCo building human capacity through scholarships’
Hansen said the private sector should contribute to Africa’s transformation and economic growth by supporting efforts to create skills and capacity in Africa, adding that there is no smarter shortcut to a bright future than education, particularly when it is of high quality and relevant.
This possibly explains the rationale behind the educational initiatives of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), which is targeted at human capital development.
Managing Director of SNEPCo, Bayo Ojulari said the company is working assiduously to invest in human capital since it is integral to societal growth. He said the company is beginning to achieve that through its scholarship schemes and infrastructural projects.
He also said the firm is committed to providing opportunities for indigent pupils and students to access quality learning, as well as creating conducive learning environment that would help improve the performance of public school pupils in external examinations.
According to him, “statistics from examination bodies such as the West African Examinations Council (WAEC); National Examination Council (NECO); and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) reveal a worrying disparity in the performance of pupils from private schools and those from public schools. Those from public schools in rural areas fare even worse.
“In recognition of the urgent need to address this disparity, a sister company, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), operator of the SPDV joint Venture, in 2010 initiated the Cradle-to-Career (C2C) Secondary School Scholarship Scheme.
He continued, “The primary aim is to bridge the educational opportunity gap between urban and rural primary school’s populations in the Niger Delta where the company carries out its exploration and production operations. The NNPC/SNEPCo edition of the scheme shares the same aim and objectives with the SPDC’S but is wider in coverage.”
Ojulari said the scholarship scheme covers the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, and it is aimed at developing selected primary six pupils into confident and functional citizens who can comfortably face new life.
“With quality education pupils can compete with their peers and become successful citizens in career and life. We work collaboratively with NECO and beneficiaries are selected through a highly competitive aptitude test conducted in the various implementing secondary schools.
“Each selected beneficiary is awarded full secondary school scholarship to any of the seven highly rated C2C implementing private secondary schools in Nigeria. They include Premiere Academy, Abuja; Edgewood College, Lekki; Topfaith International Secondary School, Uyo, Akwa Ibom; Grundtvig International Secondary School, Oba, Anambra State; St. Francis Catholic Secondary School, Lagos; Nigerian Turkish International College, Kaduna; Lead Forte Gate College, Lekki, Lagos.”
Ojulari expressed hope that the initiative will give disadvantaged but bright students across the country access to six years of quality secondary education; help to achieve Goal Four of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); as well as develop a solid foundation for the training of quality manpower in Nigeria.
He further expressed that the project will improve quality of education and learning environment for indigent students from remote communities; create opportunity for networking with other students from other parts of Nigeria; develop a firm foundation for higher education in the country; and develop sound human resource base for future employment.
On the infrastructural intervention, he said, “In 2007, NNPC/SNEPCo commenced an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) literacy campaign in response to a study which indicated a dearth of ICT knowledge amongst students and teachers at secondary and tertiary school levels. In 2008, 10 units of fully-furnished ICT buildings were donated to seven secondary schools in Nigeria and by 2009/2010, the scope was expanded to 21-seater ICT centres.
“The initial beneficiary secondary schools include Ikeja Grammar School, Lagos; Offa Grammar School, Offa, Kwara; Ebute-Elefun Secondary Schools, Lagos; Rumfa College, Kano; St Barnabos College, Kabba, Kogi State; Girls Secondary School, Imo; Uwheru, Delta State; Edo College, Benin etc.
He continued “A fully-furnished 51-seater ICT building was donated to each of the following universities: Delta State University; University of Jos; Imo State University; and the University of Ado Ekiti. In 2014, the scope was further expanded from 51-seater centre to a 100-seater storey building ICT centre with one still under construction at the Enugu State University.
“SNEPCo, with the support of the NNPC and its co-venture partners is committed to providing opportunities for Nigerian youths not just in education but also in entrepreneurial training and empowerment as demonstrated by our other social investment programmes across the country.”
“At the university level, the company has awarded scholarships to three Nigerians to study in the United Kingdom institutions. The pioneer beneficiaries for 2017/2018 are Miss Peace Feyiyemi Adepoju- MSC Geotechnical Engineering, University of Birmingham; Miss Iwinosa Osarugue Aghedo-MSc Geotechnical Engineering, Newcastle University and Miss Oluwapelumi Comfort Okewusi-MSc Hydrography, University of Plymouth.
“Scholarship awards are part of SNEPCo’s compliance with the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) waiver requirements. Scholarship awards will enable SNEPCo to grow local capacity in Deep-water Sea-bed Survey,” he added.
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