No fewer than 60 communities across Edo and Delta are benefitting from the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company Limited (NPDC) annual scholarship scheme organised for its host communities.
Mr Dahiru Abubakar, Manager, Community Relations Department, NPDC, made this known on Saturday during the conduct of the year 2020/2021 scholarship examination organised by NPDC in Warri, Delta.
Represented by the team Lead of the Warri Examination Centre, Mr Noble Imabibo, Abubakar said that the scheme was part of NPDC corporate social responsibility to its host communities.
Abubakar stated that the scholarship examination was being conducted simultaneously at three centres in Warri, Delta, Egbema in Imo and Port Harcourt, Rivers.
“The Warri centrr has about 170 candidates, 22 in Egbema and 145 in Port Harcourt centres.
“In total, we have 337 candidates from the different host communities sitting for the examination out of which successful candidates would be awarded the scholarships.
“More than 10,000 students have so far been awarded the scholarships since the programme started in the year 2000.
“The NPDC Scholarship scheme has helped to reduce youth restiveness in the communities and has helped in human capital development in the communities hosting its operations.
“Communities do the nominations and send the list to NPDC for the scholarship examinations,” he said.
The Manager said that that plans were under way to create an online platform for the students to take the examinations, particularly now that the COVID-19 pandemic had made it almost impossible for people to interact physically.
According to him, to ensure a transparent, free and fair exercise, NPDC Management engages the services of the Management of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE) as consultant to conduct the examinations.
Also speaking, Prof Prekeyi Tawari-Fufeyin, Coordinator of the NPDC scholarship examination, FUPRE, thanked NPDC for the privilege given to the students.
”A lot of the students are from the rural areas where they do not have enough resources to go to school.
“With this scholarship scheme, a lot do well and remain in school. Last year, we advised that NPDC should increase the number and this year we have very many of them coming from different communities.
Speaking shortly after the exercise, Daniel Momotimi, a student of Delta State University, Abraka from Apuama community in Warri North Local Government Area, thanked NPDC for the gesture.
Momotimi urged NPDC to increase the number of candidates to accommodate more less-privileged youths.
Miss Favour Atiewoh who hails from Emadadja community in Udu Local Government Area of Delta, also commended the organisers of the examination, adding that the students were treated with respect in environment conducive for the exercise.(NAN)