UniPort, SPDC Host PG Overseas Scholarship Beneficiaries

 Officials of SPDC, UniPort, LGAs and the beneficiaries

By Otikor Samuel

Ten students indigenous to Niger Delta region drawn from University of Benin, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, University of Lagos, University of Ghana, Delta State University and University of Ibadan, are beneficiaries of this year's Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) Niger Delta Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme.

The beneficiaries are: Ebruga Moses, Monday Saul Awaji-ikekeinyem, Ogbe Stephanie Omasan, Obibi Cynthia Oghale, Osimobi Jude Chukwuemeka, Nwabueze Chuks Oghochukwu, Onyemali Nkem Irene, Ejairu Ovomani Kingsley, Fregene Susan Omayemi and Oruambo Tamunomiete Jeffery. They are to proceed to three prestigious universities in the United Kingdom; Imperial College London, University College London and University of Leeds.

In their separate speeches at the Award and Farewell Ceremony at Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium, University Park, SPDC's Director, Human Resources, Mr Charles Gbandi; Head, Community Content, Mr Camillus Umoh and Head, Nigerian Content Development (NCD), Mr Olusegun Adebayo, said the scheme which is basically for students of Niger Delta origin is open to those with a minimum of Second Class Upper Division in Engineering, Geosciences and other oil and gas related disciplines.

The training which is the fourth in the series, according to the representatives of SPDC, is aimed at developing manpower and increase indigenous participation in the oil and gas sector in line with the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act of 2010.

“We are in the University of Port Harcourt for the first time to enlighten students, in the College of Engineering and Faculty of Physical Science, about the scheme. We had earlier taken the campaign to Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State, Rivers State University of Science and Technology and Delta State,” said the Director of Human Resources. Also speaking, Mr Adebayo recalled that almost all the 30 beneficiaries of the scheme in the past have secured employment within and outside the country, adding that the selection process is transparent with no interference from SPDC.

In his welcome remarks, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Ajienka, who was represented by the Dean, Student Affairs Department, Professor Henry Bell-Gam, commended SPDC for the initiative, describing it as one of the major interventions in its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) that is targeted towards manpower development in the critical oil and gas sector.

The Vice-Chancellor, who also praised the oil company for taking the step of visiting the University with a view to creating more awareness about the scheme, urged the beneficiaries to fully utilize the opportunity to enable them contribute effectively to the sector after their studies.

Goodwill messages were presented by Chairmen of Andoni  and Degema  Local Government Areas; Mr Orom Nte Ereforokuma and Mr Ibigoni Daddy Pokima, represented by Leader, Andoni Legislative Assembly, Hon Ataisi Charity Wellington and Chief of Staff, Degema Council, Mr Ikiroma Samuel, respectively. Highpoints of the ceremony were presentation of award to the beneficiaries and interactive session with students of the University.

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