By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
Over 300 students from oil bearing Communities in Niger Delta Delta region are competing for the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) scholarship scheme.
The pre-selection examination for indigent students from its host Communities, will place at the same time across Delta, Imo and Rivers.
Mansur Sambo, the managing director of NPDC which is a a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Development Company (NNPC), said this while addressing newsmen at the Delta Centre in Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta State where about 180 would participate in the exercise.
Mansur who was represented by Dahiru Abubakar, Manager, Community Relations department also said the scholarship programme was part of the establishment’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the company, geared towards building human and capital development of youths.
“This year, over 300 students are participating in the scholarship examinations, after which the successful students will be awarded the scholarship. The number reduced this year because our assets reduced.
“The scholarship scheme is not a one year scheme but the one that will take them through the university until they graduate. But the scheme does not include employment.
“If you educate a society you educate the whole nation for improvement, technology and development in general.
“But if you have an illiterate society you have an illiterate nation, and that nation will be stagnated in all facet of human life.
“Because of the relevant of education, NPDC decided that part of its main thrust should be education, and that is what gave birth to this scholarship programme for indigent students in its host communities, “he said.
According to him, about 2000 undergraduate students have so far benefitted from the scholarship scheme.
Also speaking, Professor Prekeyi Tawari-Fufeyin, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, Federal University of Petroleum Resources(FUPRE) commended NPDC for the laudable initiative.
Tawari-Fufeyin said: “The programme is a laudable initiative which the Niger Delta youths should take advantage of to empower themselves for the future.
“Youth restiveness has reduced in the Niger Niger Delta area but not totally eradicated because they are beginning to take advantage and appreciate NPDC initiative.
She said, the scholarship programme is a very welcome development which should be emulated by other oil producing companies that are not doing as much as NPDC.
Glory Ikpuri, a 200 level political Science student thanked NPDC for the opportunity to participate in the exams.
“I am even surprised at the allowance they gave me today. I hope and pray that i pass the exams so that i can enjoy the scholarship”, he said.