15 July 2015, Lagos – Oil firm, ExxonMobil Nigeria, says it is investing about N3bn in six Nigerian universities for Geosciences education.
The General Manager, Operations and Technical Geosciences, ExxonMobil, Mr. Michael Udoh, stated this during the presentation of Geosciences equipment and cash to the benefiting schools in Abuja.
The investment, Udoh said, was to ensure that the quality of Geosciences education in Nigerian universities improved significantly.
He said, “Through our University Partnering Programme and University Assistance Programme, ExxonMobil, along with its production partners, has invested over N3bn into Geosciences education in Nigerian universities. We will continue to invest more in the future to ensure that Nigerian Geosciences can stand on equal footing with some of the best universities in terms of the quality of the instruction and practical knowledge.”
He also noted that the firm was committed to improving not just Geosciences, but Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education in the country.
Udoh added, “Since 2005, we have spent over N5bn in undergraduate scholarships and annually commit substantial sums to awarding 13 postgraduate scholarships to deserving young Nigerians in some of the leading universities in the world.
“To date, we have committed over N900m to the UPP programme and our long term goal is to ensure that every public university in Nigeria offering Geosciences benefits from the programme towards improving the quality of their studies.”
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Julius A. Okojie, who hailed the ExxonMobil’s education initiative, said they would further help to improve the quality of training in the country.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. Macjohn Nwaobiala, called for more private sector support in education, noting that sustainable university education was the collective responsibility of the government and the private sector.
He also hailed the gesture, saying it would enhance teaching and research in the schools.
Congratulating the institutions, he urged them to use the equipment judiciously for the development of the geology programme in the country.
The benefiting schools are Akwa Ibom State University, Mkpat-Enin, Anambra State University, Ulli, University of Jos, Federal University of Technology, Akure, University of Ilorin, and the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun. Each of them received Logitech thin section making machines, 300 mosquito nets, 24 digital cameras and N5.77m.
Fourteen universities have benefitted from the UPP programme to enable them to prepare maps of the areas in their proximity for review and publication by the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency.