The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), on Tuesday urged girls to undertake more of science subjects to boost their potential in playing vital roles in nation building.
The NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru, gave the advice in Abuja at the grand finale of the 2017 annual National Quiz Competition organised by the corporation.
According to him, the 16th edition of the competition, which began in 2000 and is part of the corporation’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), will deepen knowledge in science and technology.
He said, ‘’I will like to urge us to encourage our female children to pursue careers in the sciences’’.
‘’I have g four girls two out of who are medical doctors’’.
Baru gave special commendation for the only three females: Chidubem Igbokine, Onuoha Esther and Aziene Boti out of the 18 contestants that participated in the competition.
He said NNPC prized education dearly, hence, the tilt toward Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.
The group managing director said the study of science subjects ‘’creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy and exposes new innovators.
“This year, the grassroots level of the quiz took place in all 774 local government areas of the country.
“We are proud to say that even areas of the North-East affected by the insurgency are not left out of the competition.
“We can therefore say these students before us today present the best of the best that Nigerian Secondary Schools have to offer.
“No matter who carries the day, you are all winners. It is not easy to be top in your state, that is why I authorised a special prize for all of you,’’ he said.
Also speaking, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Yakubu Dogara, who was represented by Rep. Joseph Akinlaja, said “education makes people easy to govern but difficult to enslave.
“Be focused, ask questions, share knowledge. Even when people laugh at you, they will be there when you become inventors, governors, presidents,’’ he said.
In his address, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu told the participants to leverage on the contacts they made from competition as winners.
According to him, the opportunity of the competition will open doors for the participants later in life.
‘’Like it did for me after I represented the country from University of Nigeria Nsukka, the competition played a big role in my gaining entrance into Harvard University. So strive to be the best,’’ Kachikwu said.
Newsmen report that 18 contestants began at the grassroots level and moved to the state level, the zonal level produced three states each from the six geo-political regions for the competition at the nationallevel.
The overall winner of the competition, Isioma Nelson from Delta, will receive scholarship award of N300, 000 paid per session to any tertiary institution of his choice.
The second and third place winners, Benjamin Chinueze from Abia and Adekunle Jesufemi from Ondo State will get scholarship N250,000 and N200,000 respectively per session for any tertiary institution of choice.
At the end of the competition, Nelson had 75 points; Chinueze, 70 points and Jesufemi, 65 points.
Speaking with the newsmen, Nelson said, “I thank God.
‘’The competition was tough, I almost quit at a point but I kept getting encouragement to keep at it and worked hard and today, I am overjoyed,” he said.