Mobil Producing Nigeria, operator of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/MPN Joint Venture has graduated 300 beneficiaries of the second phase of the AKS-NNPC/MPN and KPL/IBM Graduate Assistance Programme.
The event, held last Friday at Le’ Meridian Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo, also marked the closing of Graduate Assistance Programme (GAP) phase two and presentation of scholarship awards to 74 indigent students in top private secondary schools with boarding facilities in the state.
General Manager, Public and Government Affairs of Mobil Producing Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arinze in his goodwill message to the graduands said, “The Graduate Assistance Programme was designed to enhance the employability and entrepreneurial capacity of unemployed graduates in the state by providing Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) skills and enterprise development know-how, while also addressing the dearth of ICT manpower in Akwa Ibom State.
Mr. Arinze, who was represented at the occasion by the Manager, Public and Government Affairs, JVO, Ibeno, Mrs. Regina Udobong appraised the programme saying:”its commencement in 2013 which was inspired by the impact recorded in the first instance saw the state’s indigenes as beneficiaries for three years running.
“Today, it is indeed heartwarming to note that the second phase of GAP has already attained its key objectives as more than 60 per cent of the 300 beneficiaries are now gainfully engaged either in paid employment in public/private sector organizations or in the running of small businesses,” Mr. Arinze said.
He maintained also that, the NNPC/MPN Joint Venture believes in first of all providing its trainees with commensurate skills before complementing such skills with work support hence, the provision of Lap Top Computers to each and every of the beneficiaries as starter packs.
Arinze, however, disclosed that the company has so far invested more than N300 million on GAP in the past six years with over 750 hitherto unemployed graduates benefiting from the scheme stressing that, Joint Venture, in 2011 commenced a pilot 6-year secondary school scholarship programme where indigent-bright students in public primary schools were sponsored in private secondary schools with boarding facilities within the state.
The additional 74 fresh students selected for the programme in 2015, bring the total number of beneficiaries to 194 so far captured by the scheme, to support manpower development in the state in line with the JV’s long term approach to educational advancement of the communities.
The State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel lauded NNPC/MPN and partners, for complementing the state government’s vision for youth development and improvement of the employable skills through the training on ICT.
Udom, who was represented by the Commissioner, Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Elizabeth Obot noted with enthusiasm that, the scheme which bridges the gap between school and work, launches graduates into the world of opportunities with necessary skills to become useful parts of the larger society.
According to the Governor, “We believe that given the right exposure and the right skills, Akwa Ibom youths can compete favourably with their contemporaries in other developed climes” and charged the beneficiaries to allow the knowledge and skills acquired in the programme to shape their path to move to the top in their chosen careers and be useful to the society.
The beneficiaries were given brand new Lap Top computers while their counterparts from top private secondary schools got scholarships.
The event was witnessed by government functionaries, traditional rulers and stakeholders drawn from the private sector and government in Akwa Ibom state.