By Ozioruva Aliu
THE management of Seplat Petroleum Development Company yesterday said not less than 45,140 students drawn from Edo and Delta states have participated in its annual schools competition named Seplat Pearls Quiz since 2012.
The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Roger Thomas Brown stated this in Benin City at this year’s finals of the annual competition.
Represented by the General Manager, External Affairs Communication of the company, Dr Chioma Nwachukwu, Brown said 35 of the students are already in universities while two are on the scholarship of the company adding that 100 teachers would be engaged in a training beginning from next week to sharpen their teaching skills as applicable across the world in appreciation of the role they are playing in the lives of the students.
He said this year’s completion has been conducted observing all Covid-19 protocols and expressed joy that despite the pandemic, 574 schools still participated in the competition which he said started six months ago.
“This programme began in 2012 and we have consistently conducted it which is geared at improving the educational standards of our host states of Edo and Delta and it gives us joy that both states are partners in this course.
“If you look at the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), this one addresses number 4 which is education and we know that as a nation, education is one area that we must play a key role because the impart it has is for economic growth of the country. As a company, we know the importance of education; we have just introduced a new programme for teachers because we know they are the main participants in this programme that bring up these children to be part of the competition.
“The schools that win and those that get to the last rounds, we build projects in the schools like laboratories and other infrastructure 574 schools participated this year despite the covid 19, 45,140 students have been imparted since this program started; 35 are in universities, two are on our scholarship we want the Nigerian youths to be empowered to take up the challenges in the larger society.”
On his part, Secretary to State Government (SSG) of Edo state, Osarodion Ogie represented by StellaMarris Imasuen said Edo state government has invested in education adopting “EdoBEST to advance primary education in the state using technology to teach pupils” and commended Seplat for using the quiz competition as part of their Corporate Social Responsibilities.
Speaker of Edo state house of assembly, Hon Marcus Onobun in a goodwill message urged other companies to follow Seplat’s example in their Corporate Social Responsibilities.
Several dignitaries including Benin palace chiefs and the Deputy Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Chrsitpher Ochor were at the event.
The schools and students went home with exciting prizes with the first prize school winning N7million project-based cash and N100,000 scholarship grant to the three students that represented the school. The 2nd prize – N3million project-based cash and N75,000 scholarship grant to the three winning students. The 3rd prize- N1million project-based cash and N50,000 scholarship grant to the three winning students. Also, teachers of all schools that qualified for the competition stage got attractive prizes.
St. Michael academy, Benin City won the first prize while MC Nell secondary school, Delta State came as first runner up while Gloryland academy, Igarra came third.