NNPC/SNEPCo Scholars Record Exceptional Performance

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) said beneficiaries of the National Cradle-to-Career programme recorded outstanding performances in two secondary school examinations, as the initiative continues to offer opportunities for bright young Nigerians to achieve their educational ambitions.

Of the 103 students who sat for the Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations this year, the scholars recorded 100% and 98% pass rate in Mathematics and English language respectively. Master Salmanu Isa Musa from Premiere Academy, Abuja and Miss Orevaoghene Whiskey from TopFaith International Secondary School in Akwa Ibom State each recorded nine distinctions. Master Golit Gordon Golu, also from Premiere Academy and Miss Adedokun Nihinlolawa from Lead Forte Gate College, Lagos recorded eight distinctions.

According to a statement,Master Musa and Miss Whiskey also scored 347 and 340 respectively in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination for admission into Nigerian universities out of the maximum 400 points.

In all, 76 students scored between 200 and 300 in the examination.

“Milestones such as these continue to justify the social investments of SNEPCo on behalf of the concessionaire, NNPC Limited and co-venturers across the country,” said SNEPCo Managing Director Elohor Aiboni.

The statement quoted the Chief Operating Officer, NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services (NUIMS), Mr. Bala Wunti,as saying that the National Cradle-to-Career initiative was an investment in the future of Nigeria, and commended the beneficiaries and their schools for the excellent results.

The National Cradle-to-Career programme which was launched in 2014 supports brilliant students, especially those from hard-to-reach communities with full boarding and tuition to study in nine top-rated private secondary schools across Nigeria. Some 700 scholarships have so far been awarded. Students with excellent academic abilities are automatically transitioned to the NNPC/SNEPCo National University Scholarship, which provides a grant, HMO coverage, and other benefits in support of university education.

In further support for education, SNEPCo constructed, furnished and delivered a 100-seat ICT Centre, at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun (FUPRE), Delta State last year. Work is currently in progress on a $10-million Geosciences Centre of Excellence for the University of Lagos, and a $5-million e-library project for the Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State.

Seplat Energy Empowers 350 Teachers In Edo

Mohammed Shosanya

The Seplat Energy/NNPC E&P Limited Joint Venture (JV) has kicked off the 2023 edition of its Seplat Teachers’ Empowerment Programme (STEP) for teachers in Edo and Delta states. The programme is hinged on the JV’s continued quest to contribute towards the improvement of quality education in host communities and states, and by extension Nigeria.

STEP is designed to promote teacher’s creative thinking, provide training on teaching applications for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), provide leadership and self-improvement training, allow for higher student’s engagement, and offer a well-rounded education for recipients of the programme. For this edition, 350 teachers have been listed for the programme.

The programme is targeted at secondary school teachers in public and private schools in Delta & Edo states, including the company’s host communities. During the programme, the teachers undergo 5 months of training, facilitated by a technology-based platform and gadgets provided by Seplat Energy.

In her opening remark, the Director of External Affairs & Sustainability, Seplat Energy Plc, Chioma Afe, noted that, “It is interesting that we are not just doing something for students, we are also doing something for schools and for the teachers. We are looking at the entire education ecosystem, working with the relevant state ministries and with our partners, the NEPL, to see how we can really impact every single part of that ecosystem and I think that’s an amazing thing.”

The Edo State Commissioner for Education Dr. Joan Oviawe, represented by the Functioning Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Ero Ugiagbe, expressed her heartfelt appreciation to Seplat Energy and its partners for their exceptional dedication to education, exemplified, not only through the Seplat Teachers’ Empowerment Programme, but also through their remarkable commitment to the development of schools in the states.

The Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Delta State, Mrs. Rose Ezewu, represented by the Director (Schools) Delta State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Winifred Ighavbota, commended the efforts of the NEPL/Seplat JV, saying “For several years, the JV had upheld this Corporate Social Responsibility in the education sector in Edo and Delta states, being their host states. There is no doubt that these efforts and commitment to this noble project have contributed immensely in enhancing and sustaining the quality of education in both states.”

Expressing joy and fulfilment, one of the participants, Atsenuwa Beauty noted that “As teachers, we have been empowered and enlightened to see new innovative ways of doing the business of building destinies. I want to appreciate Seplat JV because it is one thing to have an idea and another thing to execute it and execute it well. That’s why we are seeing the magnitude of success being experienced here today and so, we are thankful.

Another participant, Awaritakpor Precious, also noted that, “Growing up, we were meant to understand that the teachers’ reward is in heaven. But Seplat is saying ‘No’, that the heaven is here. This is teachers’ heaven, courtesy of Seplat.”

Mr. Owunari Levi, Community Adviser, Western Asset who represented the Managing Director NEPL said, “To our wonderful partners in this journey of giving back to society (Seplat Energy), I want to say what you are doing has given us opportunity to operate better, reason being that we have just got another freedom to operate in Delta and Edo States.”

The STEP programme is designed to train secondary school teachers on skills, innovations, and technologies for deploying STEAM to deliver tutelage better to the students; provide and connect teachers to a collection of STEAM resources to enable them to understand, apply and innovate, as well as provide schools with resources to enable them to provide the right environment for STEAM implementation to enable students engage in the interdisciplinary nature of STEAM.


Chevron Companies Give Education Support To Rivers,Yobe,Oyo Communities

Mohammed Shosanya

Chevron entities in Nigeria including Chevron Nigeria Limited (“CNL”), operator of the joint venture between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (“NNPCL”) and CNL (“NNPCL/CNL JV”), Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited (a Chevron company) and its parties in the Agbami field have donated health facilities and equipment to hospitals in Rivers and Yobe States as part of the company’s strategic support to improve education and healthcare delivery in the country.

Besides, Star Ultra Deep Petroleum Limited (a Chevron company) and its co-venturers in the Oil Prospecting Mining Lease (OPL) 140 donated educational equipment to schools in Oyo State and organized computer training programme for teachers.

In Rivers State, Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited and the Agbami parties including NNPC Limited, FAMFA Oil Limited, Equinor Nigeria Energy Company Limited, and Prime 127 Nigeria Limited handed over a fully built and equipped chest clinic to the General Hospital, Eleme as a demonstration of its continued pursuit of quality healthcare delivery in line with the expectation of being socially responsible to the people and communities around and beyond their areas of operations.

Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited and the Agbami parties have built and commissioned twenty-eight (28) chest clinics with state-of-the-art equipment in different parts of the country.

The Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, represented by Dr. Chidinma Oreh, Rivers State Commissioner for Health, thanked Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited and the Agbami parties for helping to expand the frontiers of healthcare delivery in the State. She stated that “The conceptualization of this chest clinic shows the commitment of the Agbami parties to supporting the government’s fight against diseases as this facility is built to allow for testing of presumptive tuberculosis cases amongst others in support of the government’s mandate to eradicate TB before 2035.”

Earlier, the NNPCL/CNL Joint Venture donated newly constructed and fully equipped Mother and Child Referral Centers to General Hospital Yunusari, General Hospital Fika, Yusufari Comprehensive Health Center, and Yobe State University Teaching Hospital Damaturu. The Yobe State Governor, Mallam Mai Mala Buni (CON), represented by the deputy governor, Hon. Idi Barde Gubana described the donation of the referral centers as a timely intervention that would help in delivering quality healthcare to the people.

He said:“We thank the NNPCL/CNL Joint Venture for this and other previous interventions in Yobe State. These have helped to facilitate the implementation of many reforms and capacity building of health workers as well as programmes such as Maternal, Newborn and Child Health; support to pregnant women and children under the age of five and accident victims.”

In Oyo state, Star Ultra Deep Petroleum Limited and its co-venturers in OPL 140 comprising Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL); Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited; and Lukoil Company Nigeria Limited donated and handed over 100 Computers, projectors, printers, Science laboratory equipment and School textbooks to five schools in the State. The schools include Christ Apostolic Grammar School, Aperin Oniyere, Ibadan; Queen of Apostle Secondary School Agugu, Oluyoro, Ibadan; Anglican Grammar School, Ogbomosho; Ogbomosho Grammar School and Ibadan Grammar School. Star Ultra Deep Petroleum Limited and the OPL 140 partners also organized a training programme for 50 teachers focused on computer appreciation, use of basic Microsoft Office programmes like MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint.

The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde who was represented by Mr. Olusanjo Joel Adeniyi, Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Education, commended Star Ultra Deep Petroleum Limited and the OPL 140 co-venturers for their support towards improving the quality teaching and learning in the State.

Bala Wunti, Chief Upstream Investment Officer, NNPCL Upstream Investment Management Services (NUIMS) who was represented at the various events stated that NUIMS is committed to working with its partners in undertaking community development projects like the donation of health facilities and equipment that help to improve the quality of life of the people.

Esimaje Brikinn, CNL’s General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, said the donations are part of the company’s intervention projects in support of improved access to quality healthcare in Nigeria. “These efforts fit into our overall strategy of supporting government’s efforts in improving the nation’s health system, which we view as critical to the social and economic development of the country,” he said.

Subsidy:UI Workers Resume Normal Work Schedule Next Monday

The University of Ibadan has announced that all members of staff should revert to the normal work schedule, effective from Monday, August 28, 2023.

The institution conveyed this in a statement released by the Registrar and Secretary to Council of the institution,G.O. Saliu,on Thursday.

The statement titled, ‘Re: Temporary work schedule adjustment’ read:“Please refer to the special release from the Registrar, dated Monday, 14 August, 2023 on the above subject matter.

“After careful consideration of the current situation, the University Management has come to a decision to review the work schedule and revert to status quo ante.

“Members of staff are therefore expected to revert to the normal work schedule with effect from Monday, 28 August, 2023.

“Consequently, Management seeks the understanding of all staff on the situation as we await the intervention of Government on the hardship faced by all.”

Oyo Primary School Teachers Get Car Loans

Mohammed Shosanya

The Oyo state government has approved the immediate release of car loans for primary school teachers, across all zones in the state.

The coordinating Director, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, Mr. Jacob Dairo,who disclosed this in Ibadan on Friday,stated that the loan is coming as a palliative to teachers in the state.

He said the loan which will be distributed in many tranches is to cushion the effect of the removal of fuel subsidy, on Oyo State primary school teachers.

He explained that the scheme was graciously approved by the Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, who has instructed that the loan be provided to all teachers, without any favoritism.

He advised the beneficiaries to use the support judiciously for the intended purpose.

The facility which is to be granted by financial institutions, is to be redeemed within 40 months.

The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Salihu Abdulwaheed,in the meantime,has expressed readiness to work with all stakeholders in the education sector.

The Commissioner stated this when he paid a visit to the Directorate of the Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board on Thursday.

He assured that the Oyo state government will soon hire more teachers into the basic education sub-sector.

He added that the present administration will ensure training of staff members, for an all-round success of the government.

In his reply,Mr. Dairo promised a more robust working relationship between the Board and the Ministry of Education.

Dairo also acknowledged that to ensure a paradigm shift in the education sector, all education related boards, parastatals must work in tandem with the Ministry of Education.

Kano Govt Revokes Licences Of Private Schools

Mohammed Shosanya

The Kano State government has revoked certificates of all private schools operating in the state with immediate effect.

The special adviser to the State Governor on Private and Voluntary Institutions, Baba Abubakar Umar, who said this on Saturday quoted his boss as saying this during a meeting with the proprietors of the private schools in the state.

According to him, Umar said all the schools were expected to collect new registration forms to fill for new certificates to be issued.

He explained that this was part of the state government’s commitment towards sanitising the private school operations and ensuring adherence to established laws and guidelines.

He implored the proprietors to pay their 10 per cent tax to the government as at when due for the progress of the sector, adding that his return to the position of managing the private schools should not lead to intimidation as he doesn’t have intention to victimise anyone.

He maintained his resolve for shutting any school that violates the operational laws of the state ranging from equipment, environment of operation, curriculum and academic calendar while revealing that a software had been developed to address all concerns from the government, school proprietors, parents and even job seekers in private schools.

16-Year-Old Ogun Student Gets 9A1s In WAEC

A 16-year-old student Taidob College, Asero, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, Oloruntola Mutiu Oluwaseyi,got an outstanding result of Nine A1s in his 2023 West African Examination Council,WAEC.

Mutiu scored A1 in all his subjects during the exam,according to the Director of the school, Obawunmi Jiboku,who confirmed the result.

The student,an indigene of Abeokuta North Local Government and a science student of the College had A1 in Data Processing, Civic Education, English Language, Further Mathematics, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Technical Drawing.

The Director said,Mutiu’s outstanding performance was a reflection of moral and academic excellence the College is known for in its 30 years of existence.

Jiboku further said that though, Mutiu’s performance stands out, the college has always been recording outstanding WASSCE results year-in-year-out.

WAEC released the results of the 2023 West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, few days ago.

Announcing the result in Lagos recently, WAEC’s Head of Nigeria’s office, Patrick Areghan said, out of a total of 1, 613, 733 candidates that sat for the examination, 1, 467, 565 candidates representing 91.5% have their results fully processed and released.

The examination body said out of a total of 1, 613, 733 candidates, 262,803 results are being withheld “due to reports of cases of examination malpractice.”

Areghan announced an improvement in pass rate by candidates as a total of 1,361,608 candidates, representing 84.38 per cent, obtained credit and above in a minimum of five subjects with or without English Language or Mathematics.

Scholarship: 90 Zamfara Students In Cyprus Risk Expulsion, Repatriation Over Unpaid Fees

Mohammed Shosanya

The President of the National Association Of Nigerian Students (NANS), Republic of Turkey zone,is worried over the fate of some Zamfara students on scholarship in Northern Cyprus and has implored the state government to assist them pay their accumulated school fees.

President of the zone,Comrade Opeoluwa Seun Ojekem,i explained in a statement that the students numbering 90 stand the risk of being thrown out of schools and repatriated, were on scholarships sponsored by the Zamfara state government in a high profile institution in North Cyprus.

He hinted that a group of determined and promising Nigerian students sent abroad to a prestigious university in North Cyprus by the Zamfara state government to pursue their education and become future leaders, now find themselves in dire straits on account of the inability of the sponsors to pay their educational bills.

The students, who have been working tirelessly to excel in their studies, now face the threat of being sent back home by the overseas educational institution due to mounting unpaid fees,he said.

He appealed to the Zamfara state government to come to the aid of the helpless students that are hostage by circumstances beyond their control.

He added:”The government’s inability to meet its financial obligations is jeopardizing not only their academic pursuits but also their dreams of making a positive impact and becoming excellent individuals.

“The situation has escalated to a critical point where the educational institution in North Cyprus have issued stern warnings, giving the affected students a limited window to settle their outstanding fees. Without immediate action from the government, these promising minds could be forced to abandon their studies and return home.. ”

“We embarked on this journey with great hope and the belief that our government supports our educational aspirations,” expressed one of the affected students. “Now, we are left in despair, uncertain of our future and the prospects of completing our degrees. It is an injustice that our dreams are being crushed by bureaucratic inaction.

“The government must honor its commitment and swiftly provide the necessary funds to cover the outstanding fees, ensuring that these students can continue their education without further interruption.

“Delay in action will only exacerbate the situation, robbing the nation of its potential leaders, researchers, and innovators. The Zamfara State Governor must take immediate action to safeguard the future of these students and protect the nation’s investment in their education, as this is part of his promises to the good people of Zamfara State”

Tuition Fee Hike In Public Universities Fake News -FG

Mohammed Shosanya

Special Adviser to the President, (Special Duties, Communications & Strategy) Dele Alake has debunked claims that the Federal Government may have hiked fees payable by undergraduates in public universities.

Alake described such reports credited to some media organisations as inaccurate and incorrect.

He said: “We are aware that some universities have in recent weeks announced increase in the amount payable by students on sundry charges.However, the fact remains and we have confirmed that these are discretionary charges by each university for hostel accommodation, registration, laboratory and other charges. They are not tuition fees.

“Authorities of these universities even made this fact clear enough in explaining the rationale behind these new fees.For avoidance of doubts, federal universities in Nigeria remain tuition-free”.

He absolved President Bola Tinubu from any blames, saying he remains committed to his promise of ensuring that every Nigerian, regardless of the economic situation of their parents, have access to quality tertiary education.

“In addition to the Students’ Loans Scheme, under the Student Loans Bill signed into law by President Tinubu last month, which will go into implementation ahead of the next academic session in September, the Federal Government will also strengthen other mechanisms to support indigent students.

“Parts of the government’s plans to make sure all diligent students complete their education on time, notwithstanding their parents’ financial situation, include work-study, merit-based scholarships and grants,” the presidential spokesman said

Exam Malpractices: Oyo Considers  3Years Jail Term On Offenders

The Oyo State government, on Tuesday, said it may start enforcing the Examination Malpractice Act, as enshrined in the 1999 Federal Constitution.

The Act stipulates a three years’ jail term or fine of N100, 000 or both for anyone caught and found guilty of compromising exam ethics in the country.

The Executive Chairman, Oyo State Post-Primary Teaching Service Commission, TESCOM, Pastor Akinade Alamu,who disclosed this in Ibadan,said the state government has so far adopted administrative measures in addressing examination malpractices in the state.

He declared that with the present administration’s policy on education, the war against examination malpractice is being won.

Pastor Alamu, who expressed joy over support by the Nigeria Union of Teachers and other teaching bodies, emphasized that the state government would not hesitate to ensure that the laws guiding the conduct of public exams in the country takes its full course.

Alamu, who said examination malpractice had reduced significantly since the Seyi Makinde administration came on board, added that the government aims at the total elimination of exam malpractice in the state.

Speaking on granting the erring teachers pardon, Pastor Alamu said the Oyo State Government has received appeals from traditional rulers, as well as stakeholders in the Education sector.

He,however,said the Oyo state government has not taken final decision on whether to pardon the erring teachers.

“We have received appeals from Traditional rulers and the Nigeria Union of Teachers. But we have very high regard for NUT, a very noble union of professionals. We respect the leadership of NUT and its members; NUT is a union that gave maximum cooperation to Governor Seyi Mkainde’s administration, since its inception”, he said.

Pastor Alamu berated past administrations in the State for taking issues of examination malpractices with levity, adding that the Seyi Makinde administration has taken the bull by the horn.

He said:”When we came on board, we decided that this problem should be nipped in the bud and we started sanctioning the erring teachers and principals. So we have done it for 2-3years now, suspending teachers that were involved and we want you to understand that examination malpractice is criminal.

“At the end we took administrative steps to address the issues and when we did it, there had been appeals and pleadings from various quarters”

“We respect Nigerian Teachers and they are very good partners of TESCOM and Oyo State Government, we have seen that NUT has been a very responsible Trade Union, with this we may consider their request to pardon the teachers”.