About 175 undergraduates, 78 post-graduate and 121 post-primary school students have been awarded scholarships by Belemaoil Producing Limited.
The beneficiaries of the 2017 NNPC/Belemaoil Joint Venture Host Communities Scholarship Award were drawn from the oil company’s host communities in Kula, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Presenting cheques to them on Sunday, the Founder and President of Belemaoil, Mr. Jackrich Tien, explained that the scholarship scheme was aimed at creating value for the youth, the state and Nigeria in general.
Tien pointed out that the total scholarship earmarked by the firm per annum was worth N100 million, adding that cheques given to beneficiaries during Sunday’s event was over N70 million.
He said, “We have students in Cyprus, we have students in the United Kingdom, in America, Canada, Ghana, Malaysia, Philippines and in Nigerian schools.
“What we are doing is not just to show wealth, but plant wealth in the hearts and minds of the people so that they would in turn do the same to the society when they come out.
“We recognized very importantly, that if you joke with education, you are joking with the future and if you fail to grab these young ones, who have the enthusiasm and that flair to pursue their academic dream, you are limiting the unravelling of future opportunities that they would have used to grow themselves as well as society.”
Tien disclosed that the firm was planning to employ 12,000 youths from the communities as soon as President Muhammadu Buhari approved the proposal that has been put forward to him (Buhari).
He said, “Nigeria is a great country with excellent talents and what we have decided to do as a company is to buy in and believe that these great talents are deposited in our young ones.
“What you are experiencing today is a display, a promotion of that interest and I pray that those beneficiaries today don’t just take these cheques as a way of going to things that are not really right, but as a beneficiary, take it as God’s blessing to develop himself and to also be a beneficiary in the creation of wealth within our society.”
He expressed gratitude to stakeholders, especially those in the local communities and partners, including First Bank and the State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for making the process easy.