NLNG awards 10 overseas post-graduate scholarships to bridge skill gap
By NGOZI Onyeakusi ….
Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) today in Port Harcourt awarded post-graduate scholarships to 10(ten) deserving Nigerians in the fifth year of the initiative, to pursue Master’s degrees in a number of high-ranking universities in the United Kingdom (UK).
The NLNG Post-Graduate Scholarship Scheme was launched to grow a pool of dedicated professionals to bridge the specialist skills gap, and help build a better Nigeria. The scholarship is fully funded and managed by NLNG.
At the award ceremony, the General Manager, External Relations, Dr Kudo Eresia-Eke, said“This is neither an ordinary scholarship nor any other Corporate Social Responsibility programme run by big companies. This is helping to change our society positively; this is pushing the boundaries of possibilities that will take us out of the tunnel; this is expanding our horizon and doing everything we thought was not possible before now.
“At the time we started this, our main desire was to grow a pool of dedicated professionals to bridge the skill gap and consequently help to build a better Nigeria, in line with our vision as a company. We have carefully selected some areas, including Engineering, Geosciences, Environmental Sciences, Management Sciences, Information Technology, Law and Medicine, which we believe are short of experts in the country and which hold the key to some of the development questions facing our country. This is not to put down any discipline, but we believe that for us to move to the next level as a nation, we need to close the gap in these areas.”
He remarked that NLNG projects that it will spend about USD600, 000, to cater for tuition, accommodation, living expenses and return tickets to UK for the new batch of beneficiaries.
Out of 773 (seven hundred and seventy three) applications submitted for consideration this year, the 10 scholars were selected after a rigorous selection process. A total of 56 (fifty six) Nigerian graduates have now benefited from the NLNG Post-Graduate Scholarship Scheme since the first award in 2013.
The NLNG Post-Graduate Scholarship Scheme is one of NLNG’s interventions in education. About 2,893 (two thousand eight hundred and ninety three) undergraduates have passed through the NLNG Undergraduate Scholarship Scheme since its inception in 1998. NLNG also runs a Post -Primary Scholarship Scheme which commenced in 2012.
NLNG’s interest in education also influenced its commencement of the University Support Programme (USP), where $12 million was invested in the provision of world-class engineering laboratories and facilities in 6 (six) Nigerian Universities across the 6 (six) geo-political zones in the country. The University of Port Harcourt, University of Nigeria Nsukka, University of Ibadan, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, University of Ilorin and University of Maiduguribenefitted from the USP. These laboratories have since been completed and in use.
Furthermore, NLNG built and equipped the Bonny Vocational Center (BVC), which helps to bridge the gap in technical education in the country. To date, BVC has trained over 1,000 (one thousand) Nigerians in a range of vocational and related occupational areas such as electrical installation; fabrication, welding and pipe work; mechanical fitting and plant maintenance; metal machining, painting and decoration, building construction; business support, plumbing; ICT system support; catering and hospitality, among others.
NLNG is owned by four shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC (49%), Shell Gas BV, SGBV, (25.6%), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15%), and Eni International (N.A,) N. V. S.àr. l (10.4%).