The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has promised to build and equip a Science and Technology Laboratory to enhance pupils’ interest in science and engineering profession, especially the Girl Child.
Mr Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director of NNPC, disclosed this at Foundation laying ceremony of a laboratory, to mark the sixth edition of Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) in LEA primary school Ofugo, Kogi State.
The gesture was a collaboration between the NNPC and APWEN to be named after Mr Kashim Ali, President, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), who did his primary education at the school.
Baru, represented by Dr Shuaibu Musa, Managing Director, Medical, NNPC, said the laboratory would be established within the school premises and managed by APWEN.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme, tagged: ”Invent it, Build it”, was aimed at inspiring the Girl-Child to take up the sciences to pursue a career in Engineering.”
“When you think inventions you think Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
“It is a documented fact that no nation has become powerful and develops without the development of STEM.
“Everything you can see around you are products of STEM; engineers are the future of the nation. I have come to encourage you to be engineers,” Baru said.
Baru added that the NNPC would award scholarship to 10 deserving girls from 10 primary schools; from primary to university level to study sciences and ultimately engineering.
He said that the scholarship award would be named as ”Engr Kashim Ali Engineering Scholarships for Girls, and shall be managed by APWEN.
Ali commended the NNPC and APWEN for the honour bestowed on him and for encouraging young children to develop keen interest in science and engineering.
Ali, who also received Award of Excellence from APWEN for his excellent role in engineering, promised to buy a new set of uniforms and sucks for all the three schools in the LEA Ofufo primary school premises.
He urged the children to be neat, adding that they should always dress well and be good ambassadors of engineers.
“I wish you well, and i wish your parents should encourage you so that you can become what you should be in life,” Ali said.
Mr Felecia Agubata, the President of APWEN, said the association remained committed to encouraging women to achieve professional excellence as engineers and leaders.
According to her, they have about 3000 members across the six geopolitical zones and 36 years in existence.
She noted that the same initiative had been carried out in five selected States, one in each geopolitical zone, saying Kogi would be the sixth state representing the North central.
“Bauchi in North East, Edo in South South, Ogun in South west, Kano in North west, Anambra South east and we are now at the sixth State, North Central Nigeria.
“We have awarded scholarships to 61 pupils and still counting,’’ she said.
NAN reports that 10 selected winners (girls) in practical experiment performed by 100 participants from 10 schools, went home with one Hp Laptop each courtesy of Kashim Ali’s club.
Three Hp laptops were also donated to the head teachers on behalf of the three primary schools located within premises of the YEA school, Ofugo.
Gov. Yahaya Bello commended NNPC and APWEN for the initiatives and for the choice of Kogi among the North Central States.
Bello, represented by the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, said the state was witnessing another success story through scholarships, sensitisation, contributions and donations to the education sector.
“We are excited more individuals are developing interest to invest in education sector, just as Ali has done, and has come back home to impact the lives of school children.
“I am so happy that this gesture has also set a trend for others to emulate, and I am excited that Kogi is going to be finally repositioned in education sector.”
NAN reports that aside Ali, the governor and some other dignitaries from engineering field were also recipients of the award of excellence at the occasion.