Chevron Nigeria Limited and other investors in the Agbami oil Field spend N2.5 billion to provide infrastructure in schools as well as offer scholarships to 16,000 students since 2008
- By Anayo Ezugwu
CHEVRON Nigeria Limited and its Agbami parties are determined to promote excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM, teaching and learning in Nigeria. The Agbami parties have so far awarded scholarships to 16,000 students in medicine and engineering since its inception in 2008.
At the Agbami STEM Symposium 2017 in Lagos, on Thursday, October 5, Richard Kennedy, director, Deepwater Assets and Production Sharing Contracts, Chevron Nigeria/Mid-Africa Business Unit, said the company and the other Agbami parties take their role as members of the Nigerian community seriously. He said the parties believe that the most rewarding investment is in people because they are the greatest assets of a nation. The people are the underlying philosophy behind the social investment in the thematic focus areas of health, education and economic development. “We believe in the principle of adding value and enriching lives in any society we operate,” he said.
According to Kennedy, Nigerian youths need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels far exceeding what was considered acceptable in the past to succeed in this new information-based and technology-driven global society. “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are undeniably some of the key subjects to study now because of the need for Nigeria to evolve the scientific and technological innovations needed to face the challenges of globalisation and build an evolving knowledge-based economy.
“Most importantly, STEM education is directly linked to global competitiveness and future economic prosperity. The Agbami parties began investing in education in 2008, and we have been playing significant roles in advancing STEM education. We have invested over N8.4 billion on Agbami Medical and Engineering Scholarship, AMEPS, which targets capacity building for students of medical and engineering courses across the nation and this scheme has recorded an impressive total of 456 first class graduates.
“Since inception, over 16,000 students from all the states of Nigeria have benefited from the Agbami Medical and Engineering Scholarship. The Agbami parties have also spent over N2.5 billion on education infrastructure support since 2008. We have built, furnished and equipped 33 science laboratories and eight hybrid libraries across the country, which in addition to the benefits to students, have also empowered 38 local community contractors during their construction,” he said.
On his part, Ben Akpan, executive director, Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, STAN, said the country should invest in STEM to enable Nigeria move from monopolistic economy to knowledge-based economy that is driving the world. .
Delivering a keynote address on “Integrating STEM and 21st Century Skills-Innovative Approaches to STEM Education,” Akpan stressed the need for applying integrated science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and other content as appropriate to answer complex questions, to investigate global issues, and to develop solutions for challenges and real world problems.
“STEM provides us with the opportunity to develop our economy, democracy and even cultural lives. Scientists believed that STEM is the way to go. Its mandate is to ensure that everybody has basic literacy in science and preparing people for future careers in related professions. The educational curriculum in Nigeria doesn’t test our intelligence. Computers are being made in form of human brains. We are getting to a stage where artificial intelligence is beating human imagination.
“The world is moving very fast and the issue of Nigerian educational system has nothing to do with our curriculum. Therefore, we need to review our curriculum and invest in science infrastructure, which is very critical in our society,” he said.
Apart from investment in STEM, Chevron and Agbami parties are committed to developing Nigeria. In the area of health, they have build and equip 25 chest clinics across the country with state-of-art technology. They have tuberculosis awareness programme conducted in six most endemic states of the federation, Lagos, Kano, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Nassarawa and Oyo states. From 2009, the parties to the Agbami field have consistently scoped the phases of their social investment projects to enhance the development of capacities of Nigerian businesses for positive impact on Nigeria’s economy.
– Oct. 6, 2017 @ 14:32 GMT |