By Michael Eboh
Green Energy International Limited, GEIL, an integrated energy company operating the Otakikpo marginal field in Oil Mining Lease, OML, 11, has awarded scholarship to 340 students from Andoni local government of Rivers State to pursue their education for the 2019/2020 session.
In a statement in Abuja, the company stated that the students were selected based on rigorous qualifying examination from among over 7,000 applicants for the scholarship under the ‘Green Energy leaders of Tomorrow scholars’ programme instituted in 2018 to enhance the education standards of youths of company’s host community.
According to the company, the scholarship worth over N50 million would cover secondary, undergraduate and post graduate education of the students.
Presenting the scholarship awards at the yearly community stakeholders’ luncheon held in Port Harcourt, the Chairman of the company, Professor Anthony Adegbulugbe, said the company apart from infrastructural improvements of the communities in its area of operation, considered provision of scholarship as critical to the human capacity development of the communities in Andoni and Rivers state at large .
He said his company’s believe that crude oil production is not an end in itself but a means to achieve economic development and other development goals prompted the move toward supporting education as one of the critical pillars of social change in the country.
Adegbulugbe recalled that during its five years of operation and engagement with the communities, the company had contributed significantly towards achievement of some United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, SDG, through consistent health interventions programs, the revamping of health facilities through the Johns Hopkins University partnerships, the conservation of animals species program and infrastructure development through the community trust funds, among others.
He said the thrust of its Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, and sustainability work remains capacity building, socio-economic growth, environmental protection, promotion of green and energy efficient technologies and upliftment of the marginalized and underprivileged segments of the society.
Also speaking, the Rivers state Commissioner for Energy& Natural Resources, Dr Peter Medee commended the Board and management of Green Energy for investing in the education of the youth in the host communities.
He said the government was impressed with the tremendous investment of the company in the development of the communities and promised to partner with the company in the proposed power generation and LPG production projects being planned for the Andoni area.
Speaking in the same vein,the chairman of Andoni local government area, Mr. Paul Lawrence, said the gesture of the company in providing over 340 students with scholarship in one year was unprecedented in the area.
He said the company has proved to be partners in progress of the people of his local government and promised to ensure the peaceful operations of the company in the area saying that in line with the resolve of Governor Nyesom Wike’s Administration, oil companies would be protected from incessant attacks and sabotage of its operations.