OIL and gas giant, Chevron Nigeria Ltd (CNL), is at the forefront of improving Nigeria’s ability to develop quality manpower in different fields through its numerous contributions to education in the country.
This was the submission of the Chairman/Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria Ltd, Mr Jeffrey Ewing, as a special guest of honour at the awards ceremony of the annual Awokoya Chemistry Competition for Secondary Schools initiated by the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture held weekend at PTI Conference Centre in Effurun-Warri, Delta State.
Mr Ewing, represented by the superintendent of Policy, Government and Public Affairs (PGPA) department of CNL office in Warri, Mr Tony Emegere, said the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture has shown commitment to qualitative education through investments in education infrastructures, sponsorship of manpower development programmes and provision of scholarships over the years.
“Some past winners of this competition have gone further to become national champions in other chemistry competitions.
“Our findings revealed that 100 percent of past awardees proceeded to further their studies in science-related disciplines at the university both locally and internationally and they are excelling in their academics.
“Aside from the fact that competitions such as this help in immortalizing the persons they are named after, they also help the students to develop their mental aptitude for personal development and thus add more value to the society.
“We are assured that with the support and commitment of the Delta State Ministry of Education and the Chemical Society of Nigeria (CSN), the Awokoya Memorial Competition in Chemistry will continue to stimulate students’ interest in the study of Chemistry and other science and technology subjects for a long time to come,” the CNL boss enthused.
Chairman of the Chemical Society of Nigeria (CSN), Delta State chapter, Dr Mrs Tina Olubukola Isichei, expressed excitement seeing students even from government/public schools among the prize winners.
She said the unusual development showed a greater commitment from the teachers and students alike and a ray of hope for the country’s hitherto battered educational system.
Dr Isichei revealed that the competition was organized in two stages of rigorous and standardized examinations with a zero tolerance for examination malpractice to select the best two students who will compete with the best across the country.
She, however, appealed to the sponsors for increased funding to reach more students and train more teachers, adding that it was becoming increasingly difficult to reach out to all schools all over Delta State.
While appreciating CNL and singling out Miss Efemona Faith of Lords and Kings Academy for emerging second best in the state and third at the national level of the competition, Dr Isichei congratulated the students, teachers and schools who made it to the first 10 positions.
First three winners of the annual National Chemistry (Awokoya Memorial) award ceremony for Secondary Schools in Delta State included: 16-year-old Esosuota Iroro Peter of Government College, Ughelli (1st prize); 16-year-old Efemona Faith of Lords and Kings Academy, Warri (2nd prize) and Isioma Nelson of Federal Government College, Warri (3rd prize).
Seven others from other secondary schools in Warri, Sapele and environs, also grabbed consolation prizes.
The 10 winners, it was gathered, CNN emerged from a race initially begun by 388 students who sat for the first exam on May 6, 2017.
The Awokoya Chemistry Competition for secondary schools, which is aimed at sensitising and encouraging the teaching and learning of Chemistry among students of Delta State, was created by CNL/NNPC Joint Venture in partnership with CSN and Delta State Ministry of Education in memory of Professor Stephen Awokoya, a renown chemist, who died on March 15, 1985.
Other guests at the event were the Guest Lecturer of the event and Provost, College of Education, Warri, Prof (Mrs) Mary Edema, and the Commissioner of Education (Basic/Secondary) Delta State, Mr Chiedu Ebie who was represented by Mrs Joy Biebi, among others.