The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), says it has entered into a partnership with the West African Examination Council (WAEC), the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS), and the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN), to grow the country’s educational sector.

Speaking at the grand finale of the 2017 National Quiz Competition, Group Managing Director of the corporation, Mr Maikanti Baru, said the partnership would help in deepening knowledge in science and technology

Baru said that the NNPC prized education, dearly adding that the corporation was working with its partners to ensure that the best standards of its competition were maintained.

He said that it was in realisation of the importance of science and technology that the NNPC decided to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, (STEM), education as a key element of its Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, and strategy.

This, he said informed the establishment of the annual quiz competition.

“In this respect, our arc tilts towards Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM, branches of knowledge, given the great roles they play in nation-building.

“For a reason, STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literary, and enables the next generation of innovators. Innovation is the pillars of any progressive economy.”

Baru said the 2017 edition was the sixteenth in the competition’s history, stating that it had been expanded from the previous editions, while the prizes had been improved upon also.

He noted that the 2017 edition took place in all the 774 local government areas of the country and also featured in states in the North-East, that were affected by insurgency.

“Beginning from this year, the corporation will be providing a one-off educational grant of N100,000 each for all state winners of the competition.

“This means that everybody on this podium today, regardless of his or her final position is assured of N100, 000 from the NNPC to help defray the costs of their tertiary education.

“For the overall winner of the competition, a scholarship award of N300,000 will be granted per session, while the second and third place winners will receive a scholarship award of N250,000 and N200,000 respectively per session for the duration of their tertiary education,” he said.

He said the prizes were redeemable by the winners upon presentation of evidence of the admission into tertiary institutions whenever it may be.

Also speaking, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, commended the NNPC for its contributions to the growth of the Nigerian educational sector.

He said that the competition was unifying and bonding as it was conducted across all the states and local governments in the country.

Kachikwu assured the finalists that the competition presented a veritable opportunity for them to further brighten their future.

He called on the governors of the various finalists to make contact and mentor them as that would help them in their future endeavours.

In his remark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, commended the NNPC for taking educational development as a crucial part of its CSR programme and also for sustenaning the programme for 17 years.

He stated that the NNPC’s contribution to education, especially for STEM was critical going by the fact that the country still had a lot to do in deepening science and technology.

He expressed the support of the National Assembly in the progress of the contestants and students in general.

At the end of the competition, Delta State took the first position with 75 points, Abia, second with 70 and Ondo third Position with 65 points.

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